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December 12. 2013 9:26PM

Insanity plea planned for Epping man in ex-wife's murder


State police escort Aaron Desjardins of Epping into the 10th Circuit Court in Seabrook Wednesday for his arraignment on a first-degree murder charge in the death of his ex-wife, Amanda "Amy" Warf. (JASON SCHREIBER/Union Leader Correspondent)


BRENTWOOD - An Epping man who allegedly kidnapped his ex-wife and slit her throat at the City Concrete plant in Exeter is claiming he was insane at the time of the murder and cannot be held criminally liable, according to his public defenders.


Aaron Desjardins, 37, recently notified a judge in Rockingham County Superior Court about his intention to use an insanity defense to fight charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit hindering apprehension.


Desjardins has not yet entered a formal change of plea in court.

If Desjardins pleads not guilty by reason of insanity, then prosecutors would have to prove to a jury that he was not suffering from any kind of mental defect when 36-year-old Amanda "Amy" Warf was killed on March 7.


Warf's body was found inside the concrete plant shortly after the murder when firefighters responded to a blaze allegedly set by Desjardins, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Desjardins carried out the murder with help from his sister and new wife, who are also charged in the case.


His wife, Sarah Desjardins, also told a judge that she should be excused from at least one of the charges against her because she was under duress at the time of the killing and notified police about the conspiracy once she was separated from her husband.


Defense lawyer Emily McLaughlin also notified the judge that her client intends to claim the she renounced any kind of participation in the alleged murder plot, and should not have to face the conspiracy to commit hindering apprehension charge.


"As soon as the police physically separated Ms. Desjardins from Michele Corson and Aaron Desjardins, Sarah Desjardins verbally notified law enforcement of their scheme and crimes, and thereby renounced and terminated her coerced involvement in the offense," McLaughlin said in court papers.


Sarah Desjardins is charged with accomplice to first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit hindering apprehension. Aaron Desjardins' sister, Michele Corson, 44, of Skowhegan, Maine is charged with accomplice to first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit hindering apprehension.


All three suspects are being held without bail at different county jails.

jkimble@newstote.com


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