Oregon Man, 22, Found Guilty of Raping and Murdering 19-Year-Old Classmate

Jalique Keene, center, with his attorneys Jeffrey Toothaker, left, and Dawn Corbett during the first day of his rape and murder trial, Tuesday in Hancock County Superior Court in Ellsworth. (Gabor Degre/The Bangor Daily News via Associated Press)
Jalique Keene, center, with his attorneys Jeffrey Toothaker, left, and Dawn Corbett during the first day of his rape and murder trial, Tuesday in Hancock County Superior Court in Ellsworth. (Gabor Degre/The Bangor Daily News via Associated Press)

A Bar Harbor, OR, man was found guilty Friday in the rape and murder of a former classmate, 19-year-old Mikaela Conley.

Jalique Keene, 22, was charged with raping and killing Conley, a childhood friend, on June 1, 2018.

Keene testified in his own defense Friday, the trial’s fourth day, and acknowledged that a security camera showed him carrying Conley’s lifeless body, but said he doesn’t remember anything depicted in the video.

He also testified that there was a fight after he and Conley had consensual sex. But he answered “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall” about many of the events surrounding her death.

The defense contended the video and DNA evidence don’t prove that Keene is guilty of murder and gross sexual assault.

Authorities say Keene raped, beat and strangled his former high school classmate within 18 hours of his return from Europe, where he’d been playing American-style football. Conley gave Keene and two other people a ride home from Logan International Airport in Boston on May 31, 2018.

The Hancock County Superior Court jury deliberated for two hours Friday before rendering its verdict around 5:15 p.m. with about three dozen people in the courtroom.

Justice Robert Murray spoke to the gallery before the jury was brought back  to read its verdict, telling those present that if they were going to have difficulty remaining calm, they should leave. No one did.

“I recognize this has been a long, difficult trial,” Murray said. “I appreciate that. I thank those who have participated for their decorum. I can’t tolerate outbursts or disruptive behavior.”

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SOURCE: JENNIFER OSBORN
ELLSWORTH AMERICAN, Portland Press Herald