June 24, 2018
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Lewiston man expected to plead guilty in clock-beating death of New Gloucester woman

Bob W. Ryder
By Christopher Williams, Sun Journal

AUBURN, Maine — A Lewiston man is expected to plead guilty next month to manslaughter in connection with the clock-beating death of a New Gloucester woman.

Bob W. Ryder, 21, was indicted in August 2011 on a murder charge.

He is scheduled to appear June 5 in Androscoggin County Superior Court for a plea hearing, but no sentence agreement, beyond the manslaughter plea, was reached between Ryder and the state.

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese said Wednesday that manslaughter carries a sentence of up to 30 years. She said she is planning to argue that Ryder should serve a sentence at the high end of that cap. Defense attorney Justin Leary is expected to argue for a shorter sentence.

“Basically, [Ryder] confessed to manslaughter and the evidence supported that,” Marchese said.

Last July, Maine State Police found the decomposing body of Danita Brown, 38, partially buried in the basement of Ryder’s ground-floor apartment at 417 Main St. in Lewiston

Police said in a sworn statement that Ryder had admitted hitting Brown in the head with a clock. She died of blunt-force trauma. He had told his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor about his actions and where he buried her. His sponsor told police about two and a half weeks later.

Ryder told the sponsor, Floyd Nadeau, that Brown was a prostitute and he had caught her going through his wallet after sex, according to the police affidavit in court files.

When Nadeau expressed doubt about Ryder’s account of events, he took Nadeau into the basement and showed him Brown’s body, which was partially covered with pieces of wood.

Nadeau told police he delayed his report for fear of breaking the AA confidentiality agreement.

To see more from the Sun Journal, visit sunjournal.com.

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