June 19, 2018
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Trial for suspect in 1980 murder of Rita St. Peter set for September

By Alex Barber, BDN Staff

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A tentative schedule has been released for three murder trials in Somerset County.

The Attorney General’s Office held conferences with defendants, their lawyers and a judge at Somerset County Superior Court on Wednesday to discuss scheduling.

Jay Mercier, 56, of Industry is charged in the July 1980 death of Rita St. Peter of Anson. He pleaded not guilty in October and was denied bail on Jan. 6.

Mercier’s trial is scheduled for the week of Sept. 10-17.

A discarded cigarette butt led to Mercier’s arrest, according to a police affidavit from December. Police were able to match DNA from the cigarette to DNA found on St. Peter’s body.

Two other trials were also tentatively scheduled during the meetings Wednesday.

Angelo Licata, 34, of Detroit is charged with killing his 63-year-old father, Alfred Licata, last July. He pleaded not guilty to the crime in October. His trial is set to begin on the week of May 29.

Alfred Licata appeared to have suffered blunt-force trauma to the head during an altercation with his son that took place in his kitchen. He was found dead on his front lawn in Cambridge. Police have not said what was used as a weapon.

The state’s motion for a forensic evaluation of the defendant said Angelo Licata had told police in an interview that God told him to kill his father.

Robert Lee Nelson, 41, of Norridgewock pleaded not guilty in October in the shooting death of Everett Cameron on Oct. 31, 2009.

Cameron, 60, was shot to death while sitting in his pickup truck a short distance from his Anson home. Detectives said the two men knew each other.

Nelson’s trial is tentatively set for the week of Nov. 26.

All three defendants are currently being held at the Somerset County Jail in Madison.

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