EUGENE, Ore. — The trial for a Eugene man charged with double murder began Wednesday.
Johan Gillette is accused of killing his father and his dad’s domestic partner. The couple was found Sept. 7, 2012 in the father’s house. Gillette lived in a trailer behind the house. Both are believed to have died from blows to the head. Gillette is claiming self-defense.
In front of a full court room Wednesday, the prosecution and defense gave their interpretations of what happened on the day the couple was found.
The prosecution argued Johan murdered his dad, 73-year-old James Gillette, his 71 year-old girlfriend Anne McLucas, then tried to cover it up.
Deputy District Attorney Stephen Morgan said when Lane County sheriff’s deputies got to the scene, there was blood everywhere. He painted a picture of a son who denied to police multiple times that he had committed the murders and tried to cover it up with bleach.
But Defense Attorney Dan Koenig claimed this was an act of self-defense. He says Johan and his dad James got into an argument and it got physical, and what happened that day was a result of 37 years of abuse toward Johan and James’ girlfriends.
“Then he went to his girlfriend, and made sure she could cover for him so that people wouldn’t know that he did this, and then he got rid of the murder weapon so that couldn’t be tracked either,” Morgan said.
“The person who would have his blood on him, the person who’s really the quote, under the state’s theory, victim of the crime, and yet he doesn’t use any bleach at all on Jim Gillette. What kind of a theory is that?” Dan Koenig said.
In the afternoon, the prosecution called on Lane County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Glessner, who was the first to respond to the scene, and also Sgt. Matthew Keetle. They also called on Monty Smith, a man who lived on the property, who made the initial call to 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 tape was played; in it you can hear Smith when he discovers both of the bodies.