- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The mother of a part-time snowplow driver charged with killing a popular St. Johnsbury teacher after luring her from her home with a ruse about a disabled car said her son’s wife accompanied him almost every time he left their Waterford mobile home.

Donna Prue testified Thursday that her son’s wife, Patricia Prue, had never worked since she moved to Vermont from New York in 2008. But she did do the bookkeeping for Allen Prue’s snow-plowing business.

Under questioning from Caledonia County State’s Attorney Lisa Warren, Donna Prue gave mostly short, one-word answers, going through the details of the life they shared and their comings and goings the night police say Allen and Patricia Prue killed Melissa Jenkins and then dumped her body in an inlet on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River.

The morning after Jenkins disappeared, Allen Prue called his mother, who had stayed with her daughter in St. Johnsbury the night Jenkins was killed, to say he wanted her to come home because he had something he wanted to say in person.

“He told me that something was going on and the cops had been there earlier that morning. I asked him why and he said that they were suspects (because) there was a lady missing in St. Johnsbury,” Donna Prue said in court.

When she asked her son if he knew this missing woman, Allen Prue answered “he knew of her,” Donna Prue said. Allen Prue had once plowed Jenkins’ driveway.

Thursday was the second day of Allen Prue’s first-degree murder trial in the March 25, 2012 killing of Jenkins. Allen Prue, 32, has pleaded not guilty. Patricia Prue, 34, has pleaded not guilty to charges that include aggravated murder. They are being tried separately.

During opening statements Wednesday in the trial that is expected to last a month, Allen Prue’s attorney, Robert Katims, said Patricia Prue, who has a long history of psychiatric troubles and was “obsessively jealous” of Jenkins, killed her without her husband’s knowledge.

Most of the testimony Thursday came from state police troopers who at first investigated Jenkins’ disappearance after her idling car was found by the side of the road with her 2-year-old son asleep inside and then her murder.

It included testimony from State Police Capt. J.P. Sinclair, who led the crime scene search team. Under Warren’s questioning, Sinclair used a series of photographs taken from the side of the road where police say Jenkins was attacked by Allan and Patricia Prue.

A Burlington television station, WCAX-TV, apologized to viewers after it broadcast one of the graphic photos during its newscast. On its website, the station said the photo never should have been used and it was looking into how it happened.

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