DOVER, N.H. - Muffled sobs and cries echoed through the courtroom during testimony by one of Aaron Wilkinson's killers who said Wednesday the murder victim's last words as his three killers rained stab wounds down on him were, "I'm sorry. What did I do wrong?"
It was the first day of testimony by one of Wilkinson's assailants, who are accused of fatally stabbing him in the driveway of his Madbury, N.H., home early in the early morning hours of June 21, 2014.
Zachary D.J. Pinette, 19, of 58 Rankin St., Springvale, Maine; and Michael Tatum, 21, of 236 Young Road, Barrington, N.H., who testified on Wednesday, have already pleaded guilty to second degree murder and face 30 years to life sentences, while Wolusky, 19, of 46 Lowell St., Rochester, is facing the possibility of life without parole if he is convicted of first degree murder.
Pinette's and Tatum's plea deals are in in exchange for their testimony against Wolusky,
Tatum testified that after Wolusky lured Wilkinson out of his 36 Evans Road home with the intention of robbing him of drugs and money, the pair walked to Pinette's parked car at the end of the driveway and Wilkinson began taking things out of the car.
Prosecutors last Tuesday in their opening statements said that Wolusky was trying to convince Wilkinson to rob Pinette's car to distract him while Tatum and Pinette were getting ready to attack him.
But after Pinette ran out to confront the two, Tatum testified it was Wolusky who first tackled him to the ground whereupon the other two sought to assist in holding him face down.
We were yelling at him "to give everything up," said Tatum, referring to the drugs and money Woluksy had said he had.
Tatum said he held a knife to Wilkinson throat and said if he didn't give it up he'd get hurt.
Then Pinette began hacking at Wilkinson's leg as Wolusky held him down, Tatum said.
When Wilkinson tried to escape, Tatum said he stabbed Wilkinson somewhere in the back.
Tatum testified he couldn't recall whether he dropped the knife he used to stab Wilkinson or if Pinette pulled it out of his back, but then he watched as Pinette had the knife and stabbed Wilkinson as Wolusky continued to restrain him.
After seeing Wilkinson stabbed three times, Tatum said he began cleaning out the trunk of Pinette's car to make space for Wilkinson because, "I knew he was going to die."
Tatum said as he turned to view the scene he saw both Wolusky and Pinette continuing to stab Wilkinson, who continually cried out unable to fight back. Wilkinson was dead within minutes.
The trio then drove to Long Swamp Road in Lebanon where the plan was to have Wolusky drag Wilkinson's lifeless body into the woods, but a passing car disrupted their scheme and Wolusky left Wilkinson's body just a few feet off the roadway.
Tatum said the robbery was hatched the night before as the trio drove around smoking pot and drinking Jack Daniels whiskey, and referenced his drug and alcohol abuse when defense lawyer Mark Sisti questioned him about his version of the facts.
Sisti also asked Tatum if had lied before and when Tatum said he had, questioned his credibility, saying, "You told more lies than there were stab wounds in Aaron Wilkinson's body."
Sisti has maintained his client had been involved in the robbery but took no part in the killing.
Sisti will continue his cross-examination of Tatum today.