Murder suspect indicted; charged with murder, rape

Jalique Keene

ELLSWORTH A Hancock County grand jury Aug. 9 indicted a Bar Harbor man on charges of gross sexual assault and murder in the June death of Mikaela Conley, 19, of Bar Harbor.

The Maine State Police on June 4 charged Jalique Keene, 21, with murder in connection with Conley’s death. Her body was found on a wooded hillside near the intersection of Route 3 and West Street on June 2.

The indictment states that the gross sexual assault and “intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder” occurred “on or about June 1.”

Maine Attorney General’s Office spokesman Timothy Feeley said in Maine all felony crimes must be presented to a grand jury unless a defendant waives his or her right to the grand jury process.

“A prosecutor must demonstrate to the grand jury that there is probable cause to believe the person charged with a crime has committed the crime,” Feeley said. “This is to protect people from having to defend themselves in court when there is not probable cause to begin with.”

“The grand jury is called from the public in the same manner as other juries,” Feeley said.

The events preceding Conley’s death began the afternoon of May 31 when Conley drove to Boston to pick up Keene and another person at the airport, according to an affidavit filed by Maine State Police Detective Tom Pickering.

Conley and Keene returned to Bar Harbor and “he stayed with her into the early morning hours at her home and in the vicinity,” the affidavit stated.

Conley had been missing since the early morning hours of June 1, when she was last seen at home by her mother.

Ellsworth attorneys Jeff Toothaker and Dawn Corbett represent Keene, who is being held without bail at the Hancock County Jail. At a very brief first court appearance June 6, the court agreed he would continue to be held without bail.

Pickering’s affidavit, initially sealed by the court, was released June 15. The document included findings by the State Medical Examiner’s Office that Conley died of “blunt force trauma and strangulation.”

Pickering described what he had seen in footage from the security cameras at Conners Emerson School, whose playground abuts the wooded area where the body was found.

“I … observed at 3:36 a.m. a male appearing to be Jalique appear at [the side of a person appearing to be Conley] and after some sort of interaction, he is seen picking her up over his shoulder and walking off with her as she is kicking with her feet,” Pickering stated.

In footage from the same camera, Keene reappears around 7 a.m., dragging an apparently lifeless body toward the area where Conley’s body was later found, according to the affidavit.

Toothaker and Corbett are scheduled to meet with Assistant Attorney General John Alsop for a status conference on Thursday, Sept. 13.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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