Son could face death penalty in double slaying of father, woman

Son could face death penalty in double slaying of father, woman
Johan Gillette, left, is shown images of the murder scene of his father James Gillette and Anne Dhu McLucas by defense attorney Dan Koenig in the Johan Gillette double-murder trial at the Lane County Courthouse in Eugene, Ore. Wednesday February 19, 2014. Johan Gillette is accused of killing his father James Gillette and Anne Dhu McLucas, James Gillette's domestic partner in September 2012. (Kevin Clark/The Register-Guard)

EUGENE, Ore. - Monty Smith and George McKenzie were living on James Gillette's 500 acres south of Eugene when they found him dead, his girlfriend Anne McLucas beside him, clinging to life.

McLucas, 71, a dean emeritus of the University of Oregon's school of music, later died from her injuries.

Smith and McKenzie testified Thursday in the double murder trial of Johan Gillette, the 73-year-old John's adult son.

If convincted, Johan could face the death penalty in the double slaying.

Attorneys for the accused have claimed he acted in self defense after suffering abuse at the hands of his father.

The trial is expected to last 2 to 3 weeks.

Also taking the stand Thursday were the Lane County Sheriff's deputies who first questioned Smith, McKenzie and a third man, Kurtis Gray, as well as Johan Gillette.

Lane County Deputy Guy Pease recalled that upon coming into contact with Johan Gillette, the defendant said, “Is he dead?  Is he dead?  I think he is.”

Defense Attorney Dan Koenig asked the Deputy why this information wasn’t included in the police report from September 7, 2012.  Koenig drilled the law enforcement officer, who admitted it should have been included in his initial write-up.

Koenig asked, “Why didn’t you recall that information writing the report hours later, but now you do?  Was this suggested to you by someone?”

Background

According to a sworn affidavit filed in the investigation in 2012, Johan told sheriff's deputies he was at home on the 500-acre property watching TV when he first learned of the attack.

But the accused's girlfriend told investigators she loved him but wouldn't lie for him. She told deputies her boyfriend called and said he'd killed his father and his girlfriend with a wrench.

In the sworn affidavit, the lead investigator on the case told the story of what investigators found in the main house on the large property just south of Eugene.

"There were large pools of blood on the floor," Detective Aaron Hoberg wrote. "On James Gillette's right side was a dog that was still breathing but unresponsive lying in a pool of blood."

Hoberg wrote that Johan Gillette claimed to know nothing about the deaths until another resident on the property came to his door to report finding the bodies.

When asked why his hands were bruised and bloodied, Johan told Hoberg he fell while on a walk, the detective wrote.

When Hoberg asked why his knees weren't bruised, Johan's story changed - and he refused to re-enact the fall for investigators, Hoberg wrote.

Johan's girlfriend Asia Seaton told investigators a different story, according to the affidavit.

She told investigators that Johan told her he went to the main house for water and got in a fight with James Gillette, who had threatened to kick them off the property and euthanize their cats.

"He got into a physical altercation with his father, and his father was reaching for his gun, so Johan Gillette hit his father with a wrench or something," she told investigators, according to the affidavit. "McLucas jumped on his back, so he did stuff to her."

Medics rushed McLucas to the hospital with serious injuries that night. She died sometime the next day.

Deputies also found evidence in Johan Gillette's home of clothes being washed in a heavy bleach solution.