Waterville man pleads not guilty to murdering girlfriend

Published: Jan. 13, 2020 at 6:15 PM EST
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A Waterville man accused of killing is girlfriend last fall pleaded not guilty Monday.

Nicholas Lovejoy, 28, is charged with the murder of Melissa Sousa, 29.

She was last seen alive putting her and Lovejoy's twin 8-year old daughters on the school bus.

Authorities found Sousa's body in the basement of the apartment she shared with Lovejoy.

Court papers state Lovejoy told police that Sousa pushed him down a flight of stairs, then grabbed one of his rifles, pointed it at him and pulled the trigger, but it didn't fire.

It was then that Lovejoy says he picked up a handgun and shot his girlfriend two times in the stomach.

Sousa's family says they want justice for Melissa.

"It's just been Hell," said April Sibert, Melissa's Aunt. "We just want this to be over with and him to be convicted and be put away for life so we can try to move on. My sister is really, really, really stressed over it all."

Lovejoy's attorney Darrick Banda says they're considering the self-defense claim.

"We'll be looking at that pretty closely and seeing what other evidence in the case supports that narrative and hopefully there are some forensics there that might support his statement," said Banda.

Sousa's family also says they're currently battling to get the twin girls out of foster care and back to the family.