'This isn't funny, dude. Everybody's looking for you'

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Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley holds a knife belonging to murder suspect Tristan Wolusky during cross-examination Thursday at Strafford County Superior Court in Dover. (Lebanon Voice/Harrison Thorp photo)

DOVER, N.H. - Accused murder mastermind Tristan Wolusky sent texts to stabbing victim Aaron Wilkinson like "Yo" and "?" just hours after his death to throw police off the trail and make them think Wolusky thought he was still alive, Wolusky admitted Thursday under continued cross-examination by Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley.

It was part of a relentless attack by Hinckley to establish one thing to the jury, the chief prosecutor in the case stating at one point that Wolusky puts a lot of "details in his lies" and, in fact, has a "history of lying."

Zachary "D.J." Pinette, 19, of 58 Rankin St., Springvale, Maine; and Michael Tatum, 21, of 236 Young Road, Barrington, have already pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the June 21, 2014, fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Aaron Wilkinson in the driveway of his Madbury, N.H., home and face 30 years to life sentences.

Wolusky, 19, of 46 Lowell St., Rochester, meanwhile, is facing the possibility of life without parole if convicted of first degree murder.

Pinette's and Tatum's plea deals are in exchange for their testimony against Wolusky,

Prosecutors have portrayed Wolusky as the ringleaders in the botched robbery and death of Wilkinson, and Hinckley on Thursday characterized him as an unabashed liar who would do anything to save his skin.

Just 12 hours after Wilkinson's brutal slaying, Wolusky sent a third text at 1:19 imploring his friend Wilkinson, "This isn't funny, dude. You need to call. Everybody's looking for you."

"And where was your friend?" Hinckley bristled. "Rotting in the woods."

Wolusky, dressed in a tattersall shirt with sleeves rolled up and dark pants, never got rattled, however, saying at the time he was afraid of being connected to a murder he didn't commit.

But Hinckley was also unfazed, pounding away at Wolusky's credibility.

"You lie to fit the facts," Hinckley charged, adding that when Wolusky realized Pinette and Tatum had admitted to roles in the killing and placed him at the scene, he changed his story from saying he wasn't involved in the robbery to he wasn't involved in the slaying.

By June 24, three days after the killing, Tatum had said he stabbed Wilkinson at least once, and Pinette had agreed to have his phone tapped while talking to Wolusky.

"But you were still lying," said Hinckley.

Later he accused Wolusky of even denigrating the man he'd allegedly killed.

"You even threw the victim under the bus, saying he a big drug dealer and moving lots of stuff," Hinckley said.

"He was moving lots of stuff," Wolusky replied.

Then on June 25, just hours before his arrest, Hinckley said investigators apprised Wolusky that Tatum and Pinette had "come clean" about what happened to which an incredulous Wolusky blurted, "What, Zach had something to do with Aaron?"

"Just when did you start telling the truth," Hinckley chafed.

"Yesterday," Wolusky said, referring to his first day of trial testimony on Wednesday.

With jurors often looking bored and disconnected with the redundant nature of the testimony, Hinckley questioned Wolusky, "Are you being truthful now to the jury?"

"Up until yesterday I lied to everybody regarding what happened," Wolusky said looking at jury members. "I just wanted to get the truth out there. I told all of you what happened that night. If you want to believe it or don't believe it, that's your choice. I have not lied."

The trial is expected to wrap up in about a week.

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