WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) — A Maine man charged with killing his girlfriend says he shot her in self-defense after she allegedly pushed him down a staircase, according to a court document released Friday.

A police affidavit says that Nicholas Lovejoy, 28, wrapped the body of Melissa Sousa, 29, in a tarp and put her body in the basement of the Waterville building where they lived.

She was shot twice in the stomach, according to the document. Lovejoy told police she pointed a gun at him first — but it didn’t fire.

Lovejoy, in court briefly Friday, was assigned a lawyer. He didn’t enter a plea and was held without bail. An email seeking comment was sent to the lawyer.

Sousa was last seen Tuesday putting her twin daughters onto a school bus. Lovejoy was arrested that evening on an unrelated charge. A body discovered Wednesday was later identified as Sousa’s.

Centralmaine.com reports the affidavit said police were told multiple times during their investigation that Lovejoy threatened Sousa with guns during arguments and police had a recording of Lovejoy stating he would kill Sousa. Before Sousa’s body was discovered, Lovejoy said she left, was “acting weird for the past few months” and that she had a new boyfriend, the affidavit said.

Before Lovejoy’s court appearance Friday, friends of Sousa and family held a vigil outside of her apartment.

“I want justice to be served,” her mother, Theresa Martin, said. “I definitely want my grandchildren. I love them and they love me and they need me. The pain is in their eyes.”


(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox