The long-awaited trial of Randal Hennessey, who is accused of fatally shooting his landlord, Douglas Michaud Jr., is set to commence with jury selection on June 24, after over two years of legal proceedings.

On Tuesday, during a pre-trial hearing at York County Superior Court, legal teams debated which aspects of the crime would be permissible for the jury to hear. Hennessey is charged with intentional and knowing murder, along with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, to which he pleaded not guilty in December 2021.

Attorneys spent over an hour discussing whether Hennessey’s character could be described using terms like “passive-aggressive.” Ultimately, the judge ruled such descriptors inadmissible.

According to court documents, the incident occurred in September 2021 when Hennessey allegedly shot Michaud five times on their apartment porch. Michaud’s girlfriend, Jamie Wakefield, who was pregnant at the time, tried to assist Michaud. Hennessey then reportedly returned and delivered a fatal shot to Michaud’s head before fleeing on a dirt bike. He was later apprehended in New Hampshire.

Wakefield’s testimony plays a crucial role in the case. She consistently identified “Randy” as the shooter and informed officers multiple times about Hennessey’s actions. The court also debated whether to inform the jury of Wakefield’s pregnancy, which Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Ackerman argued was relevant since it influenced her hospital visit post-incident and her statements to authorities. The judge ruled in favor of including this detail.

Friends of Michaud described him as having a promising future with Wakefield, training to become a firefighter, and possessing a passion for motorcycles and vintage cars. They emphasized his helpful nature and excitement about fatherhood.

Court records reveal Michaud was in the process of evicting Hennessey, who had been confrontational with Wakefield shortly before the shooting.

Despite the gravity of the charges, defense attorney George Hess has yet to reveal his strategy. Ackerman hinted that the defense might claim self-defense, despite Michaud being shot in the back.

Hennessey’s trial has been delayed due to changes in legal representation. In November 2022, Hennessey requested the replacement of his court-appointed attorney, Tina Nadeau, citing inadequate representation. Nadeau subsequently withdrew, and George Hess was appointed as the new defense attorney.

As the trial date approaches, the community awaits the unfolding of this high-stakes legal battle. For more updates on this case, follow the proceedings at York County Superior Court.