A Maine man who allegedly threatened the mother of their two young children has admitted to killing her, according to court documents.
Nicholas Lovejoy appeared in a Kennebec County court on Friday afternoon to face a murder charge in the death of 29-year-old Melissa Sousa.
As Lovejoy walked into the courtroom in Augusta, Sousa’s family could be heard sobbing audibly.
Authorities say Lovejoy admitted to shooting Sousa twice in the stomach, but claims he acted in self defense, according to an affidavit released on Friday.
Lovejoy claimed that Sousa pushed him down a flight of stairs, and then tried to shoot him with a gun, but it didn’t fire, NBC Boston is reporting.
‘Nicholas said he ran over to the heater and bookcase in the living room and picked up a 38-caliber handgun revolver and shot at Melissa two times hitting her in the stomach,’ according to the affidavit.
After fatally shooting her with a revolver, Lovejoy rolled her body up in a tarp and stashed it in the basement of the home they shared in Waterville.
Nicholas Lovejoy (left) was arrested and charged in the murder of his longtime girlfriend, Melissa Sousa (right)
Nicholas Lovejoy (seen center with handcuffs) appears in an Augusta, Maine, courtroom on Friday to face a murder charge
Sousa’s body was found in the Waterville, Maine, home that the couple shared with their two young twin daughters
Lovejoy allegedly made the confession to police during an interview on Wednesday.
Court documents indicate that before the confession, Lovejoy told investigators that he hadn’t seen Sousa since Tuesday morning.
When police came to the house to do a welfare check, Lovejoy didn’t allow officers in, according to the documents.
Before confessing, police say Lovejoy claimed that Sousa had been ‘acting weird for the past few months’ and that she had a new boyfriend.
Authorities confirmed on Friday that Sousa’s body was found on Wednesday in the home she shared with Lovejoy, 28, in Waterville.
Lovejoy was arrested on Wednesday on unrelated charges after he was caught driving with a loaded rifle.
Lovejoy is said to have confessed to fatally shooting Sousa (above) twice in the abdomen
Police also charged Lovejoy with leaving his twin daughters at home alone, according to WCSH-TV.
Lovejoy allegedly told his twin daughters when he tucked them into bed on Tuesday night that police ‘were going to come and take him away.’
According to friends, Lovejoy was known to threaten Sousa and be abusive towards her.
They said that Lovejoy was mentally unstable, and that he could not handle the fact that Sousa was planning to leave him.
On one occasion, Lovejoy is said to have pointed a gun at her while their daughters were watching from the upstairs window, pleading with him by saying: ‘Don’t kill my mom.’
‘She’s just stuck in a (bad) spot,’ said Megan Legasse, Sousa’s friend and boss at the Dunkin’ Donuts where they worked.
‘She was threatened all the time. He threatened her. He said he had two options – to kill her, and to kill her.’
Sousa’s friends said she was the victim of abuse at the hands of Lovejoy, her longtime boyfriend
Legasse told police that Sousa worked at the Dunkin’ Donuts for more than four years.
She said that Lovejoy and Sousa had been together for 15 years and never married.
They relocated to Waterville after living in Massachusetts.
‘Her mom’s been telling her for days and days to leave,’ Legasse said.
‘Nick knows where her mother is. He knows where everyone is.’
Before her body was identified, Sousa’s friends told police that there was no way she would leave without her children.
‘She wouldn’t just take off. Her little girls were everything to her,’ co-worker Tami Tims told WGME-TV.
‘We just have a really bad feeling about the situation.’
Tims said Sousa was thinking of leaving Lovejoy for a while.
‘If she saw all this going on and how upset everyone was she would notify one of us,’ Tims said.
Friends said that on a number of occasions, Lovejoy would point a gun at Sousa and threaten to kill her
‘Just to say, “I ran, I’m okay I’m here.”
‘And nobody has heard from her.’
She added: ‘He’s threatened her a lot with guns. More recent than not.
‘But over the years he’s been an abusive person in her life.’
Sousa was last seen on Tuesday morning when she put her twin 8-year-old daughters on the bus to school.
Her body was found in the basement of the duplex home at 32 Gold Street in Waterville.
Sousa’s friends reported her missing at around 6pm on Tuesday, according to the Portland Press Herald.
Investigators from the Waterville and Maine State Police found the body at around 4pm on Wednesday.
Her boyfriend, Lovejoy, did not report her disappearance.
A friend of Sousa said that Lovejoy was known to make threats to her life and that she was planning to take the children and leave him.