AP NEWS

Maine man convicted of killing, raping childhood friend

May 24, 2019
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Jalique Keene, center, with his attorneys Jeffrey Toothaker, left, and Dawn Corbett during the first day of his trial, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at the Hancock County Superior Court in Ellsworth, Maine, Tuesday. Keene is accused of killing Mikaela Conley in Bar Harbor, Maine, in 2018. (Gabor Degre/The Bangor Daily News via AP)

ELLSWORTH, Maine (AP) — A 22-year-old man who was captured on surveillance video carrying the lifeless body of a former high school classmate while her feet dragged on the ground was convicted Friday of raping and killing her.

Law enforcement officials say Jalique Keene raped, beat and strangled Mikaela Conley on the grounds of a school in Bar Harbor.

Testifying in his own defense, Keene told jurors Friday there was a fight after he and Conley had consensual sex. But he couldn’t recall many other events including those depicted on the video.

Jurors in Hancock County Superior Court found Keene guilty of murder and gross sexual assault.

The two knew each other from Mount Desert Island High School, where Keene was a running back on the football team.

He’d been playing American-style football in Europe when Conley gave him and two others a ride home from Boston Logan International Airport on May 31, 2018. She was killed early on June 1, 2018.

Surveillance cameras at the school showed two people believed to be Conley and Keene in the early hours of June 1 on school grounds.

Hours later, after the sun had arisen, Keene was seen carrying her lifeless body in the direction of a wooded area.

Her battered body was found the following day.

The defense contended the video and DNA evidence didn’t prove Keene was guilty of the crimes.

But John Alsop, a state prosecutor, told the Bangor Daily News that he was not surprised by the verdict.

“We think the evidence is very compelling,” he said. “There was overwhelming evidence of his guilt.”

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