Maine

Judge: Possible 'Othello' reference not a reason for retrial

A Maine man convicted of killing his girlfriend won't get a new trial despite his lawyer's argument that a prosecutor affected the verdict by referencing Shakespeare's "Othello" in his opening statement.

Justin Pillsbury was convicted of the 2013 murder of Jillian Jones. Defense attorney Stephen Smith argued in an appeal that a prosecutor calling Pillsbury a "green-eyed monster" was a racial connotation.

The titular character in "Othello" is commonly portrayed as a black Moor, and Pillsbury is black. The "green-eyed monster" line used by prosecutor Donald Macomber appears when Iago tells Othello that jealousy is "the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on."

The Kennebec Journal (http://bit.ly/1OmrHtX) reports Macomber says he was referring to jealousy, not race.

Justice Michaela Murphy decided Tuesday it was only "on the line" of prosecutorial misconduct.

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Information from: Kennebec Journal, http://www.kjonline.com/