Inmate pleads not guilty in beating death of another prisoner

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted May 29, 2012, at 11:49 a.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 49-year-old Maine State Prison inmate pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to charges that he was involved in the 2011 beating death of another prisoner.

Franklin Higgins entered not guilty pleas before Justice Jeffrey Hjelm in Knox County Superior Court to two counts of aggravated attempted murder.

Higgins had originally been indicted in October for murder in connection to the death of fellow prisoner Lloyd Millett. Assistant Maine Attorney General Leane Zainea noted at a hearing in March that an autopsy showed there may have been another contributing cause to Millett’s death so the revised indictment was sought.

The April indictment said Higgins struck Millett in the head with a pipe clamp and that this was a substantial step toward committing murder.

Higgins made no other comments during his Monday arraignment that lasted less than 5 minutes. He was brought into court in shackles and handcuffs, wearing orange prison garb.

Justice Hjelm gave parties 60 days to file pretrial motions.

Higgins is represented by attorney Philip Cohen of Waldoboro.

Millett, 51, died June 7 at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor after being assaulted May 24 at the prison.

Higgins remains at the state prison where he is serving a 45-year prison sentence for the 1999 killing of Katherine Poor inside her Kenduskeag home.

Millett was in prison for killing two women in 1995 — Terrie Lizotte, 39, of Canton and Rachelle Anne Williams, 33, of Gorham, N.H.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/05/29/news/midcoast/inmate-pleads-not-guilty-in-beating-death-of-another-prisoner/ printed on September 20, 2014