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Maine suspect told of killings, affidavit says

PORTLAND, Maine -- A cook accused of murdering four people during the Labor Day weekend told police he decided on Aug. 31 to kill a fellow resident of the Black Bear Bed & Breakfast, then bought a gun and ammunition, according to an affidavit.

Christian Nielsen, according to police, never said why he wanted to kill James Whitehurst, the first to die in the killing spree in the foothills of western Maine.

State Police Detective Jennifer King reported that the jeans wore by Nielsen during the interview on Labor Day night were caked with mud and blood.

A copy of King's affidavit, obtained by WCSH-TV, said items seized during a search of the inn and Nielsen's car included a gun, bullets, bullet casings, bone chips, and jewelry.

Nielsen said he invited Whitehurst, 50, of Batesville, Ark., to go fishing in Upton. After lunch, Nielsen shot Whitehurst three or four times in the back of the head, then went to his job at the Sudbury Inn in Bethel, police said he told them.

Police said Nielsen returned to Upton the next day and began to dig a grave for Whitehurst's body but decided to burn it.

Nielsen, 31, felt compelled to kill Black Bear owner Julie Bullard because she would be suspicious of Whitehurst's disappearance, according to police.

Nielsen shot Bullard, 65, three times in the chest on the morning of Sept. 3 after breaking down her bedroom door, police said he told them. He dragged her body outside, cut her in half with a hacksaw and an axe, covered her body with a tarp, and left for his job, according to the affidavit.

On Labor Day, Nielsen borrowed a chain saw at his father's house, then returned to the inn. The owner's daughter, Selby Bullard, 30, and her friend, Cindy Beatson, 43, showed up unexpectedly. Nielsen knew Selby Bullard would wonder about her mother's whereabouts and decided to kill the two visitors, shooting both in the head, police said.

Nielsen pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder and was being held without bail in Cumberland County Jail. His trial is scheduled to start in October.

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