Mars Hill man charged with solicitation of murder requests jury trial

Posted Jan. 06, 2012, at 6:41 p.m.

MARS HILL, Maine — The case against a Mars Hill man arrested and charged in April 2011 with several crimes, including solicitation of murder, could go to trial in the next few months.

Aroostook County District Attorney Todd Collins said Friday that Mark S. Stetson, 41, requested a jury trial, which he speculated could take place in February or March. No specific date has been set.

An Aroostook County grand jury indicted Stetson last March on charges of solicitation of murder, solicitation of kidnapping, solicitation of robbery, violation of conditions of release and burglary.

According to the grand jury indictments, the solicitation of murder, robbery and kidnapping crimes took place on Feb. 3.

Stetson, who has a prior criminal history, allegedly targeted three different victims for the murder, robbery and kidnapping. Collins said Stetson tried to hire an individual to kill one of the victims and kidnap one of that victim’s relatives. He also targeted another individual who often stayed at the home of one of the victims.

According to court documents, Stetson told the person he asked to commit the crimes “that he could ‘do what he had to do’” if he went to the home and found that person in the residence.

As a reward, Stetson allegedly advised the person he attempted to hire to keep anything he wanted after he robbed the residence.

A motive for the crimes has not been revealed.

Criminal solicitation of murder is a Class A crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Criminal solicitation of kidnapping and robbery are Class B crimes, each punishable by up to 10 years and a $20,000 fine.

Stetson remains incarcerated. He was ordered in October to serve approximately five years in prison on prior charges of violating a protective order, violation of conditions of release, domestic violence stalking and domestic violence terrorizing.

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