Murder Suspect’s Brother Testifies

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EUGENE, Ore. — The brother of the Eugene man charged with killing his father and his father’s partner took the stand for the defense Thursday.

James Gillette was the big witness as the defense for Johan Gillette began its case Thursday.

Johan’s Gillette’s brother James testified on his father’s explosive and violent behavior. He recalled a number of occasions where his father, James Gillette, lost self-control and became aggressive toward the brothers.

Johan Gillette is charged with murdering his father James Gillette and his father’s partner, former UO School of Music Dean Anne McLucas.

The prosecution claims Johan beat James and Anne with a wrench, then used bleach to cover up those crimes, but Johan is claiming self-defense.

Johan’s brother James testified from his earliest memories he knew his dad to be an aggressive, violent and explosive person. And he said the Gillette family had the same opinions of the boys’ dad. But he said Johan was known to be peaceful and non-violent.

Johan’s brother James testified his dad was athletic and often forced the boys to box each other, often ending in injury. He said his dad often carried a gun and had numerous guns around his house. James said his dad was unpredictable.

“I remember, you know, a lot of yelling and pounding on the table incidents. And I remember an incident where my dad’s girlfriend at the time kind of fled from the room, and he wound up throwing a spoon that stuck through the drywall next the frame of the door, handle first, all the way into the drywall,” said James Gillette, Johan Gillette’s brother.

Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson also took the stand Thursday afternoon. He testified on a number of instances where the father, James Gillette, became aggressive and violent in commissioner meetings. Commissioner Sorenson said when they knew father James Gillette was coming to be at the meetings, they’d alert security.

A number of the witnesses who testified for the defense Thursday morning were friends of Johan, claiming Johan is a non-violent peaceful man.


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  1. The Other Me says:

    ok I understand the self-defense plea. I have had a number of instances (on a professional level) where I’ve had to deal with James Gillette. just like Commissioner Sorenson stated above. his behavior is aggressive and violent. but I guess what I’m missing is…WHY DID HE KILL ANNE AND HOW IS THAT SELF DEFENSE!? and why is that not being talked about? all we see and hear about is the dynamics between father/son. what about Anne? did she abuse Johan too? was she violent and aggressive? doubtful.

  2. RoyalBlue says:

    I completely agree! I knew Jim Gillette and Anne too and I am very surprised there hasn’t been more discussion on Anne. I would also like to know where all the witnesses that knew Jim and could testify to his positive attributes. He wasn’t evil or horrible the way everyone makes it sound. What about Johan? He never got angry or threw anything in anger? Where are the people to testify to his possible negative behaviors? I think Johan had a troubled childhood, and snapped because of all the alleged abuse over the years. Jim carried that gun everywhere because he lived out in the wild, and needed it for protection from wild animals that showed up now and then. Jim was loud, and boisterous but I don’t believe he would ever actually kill anyone. He was a showman. I am upset by all the character bashing of someone whom cannot speak to defend themselves because they were murdered.

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