SKOWHEGAN, Maine — The first day of the trial of an Anson man accused of murder detailed the final hours of the victim — a man police say was selling his own prescription drugs.
Robert Lee Nelson, 41, is accused of shooting Everett L. Cameron, 60, of North Anson, to death as Cameron sat in his pickup truck on Town Farm Road in North Anson on Oct. 31, 2009.
Nelson had waived his right to a jury trial. Instead, evidence is being heard by Justice John Nivison at Somerset County Superior Court.
Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber said that Cameron’s last call from his cellphone was to Nelson.
Both Everett J. Cameron Sr., the victim’s son, and Virginia Hayden, the victim’s fiancee, testified that Cameron told them he was going to meet Nelson near Town Farm Road on the afternoon of Oct. 31, 2009.
Macomber said Nelson was looking for oxycodone pills and that Cameron had been selling his prescription painkillers to supplement his disability income. Cameron was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2004.
Macomber said Cameron had given Nelson a pill earlier, but Nelson was unable to pay the cost of the pill — $35.
In an interview conducted with Maine State Police detectives the night of Cameron’s death, Nelson told police that he had met with Cameron to tell him he would be unable to repay his debt until he was paid the following week.
Macomber said that no DNA evidence, the murder weapon nor a confession will link Nelson to Cameron’s slaying.
However, witnesses, circumstantial evidence and common sense would be used to try to convict Nelson of the crime.
“Common sense will tell you when someone doesn’t have any oxycodone in the morning but does in the afternoon and evening, he got them in the afternoon,” said Macomber.
Defense attorney Philip Mohlar said Cameron had been selling his oxycodone pills for years and that many people would have had a motive to kill him if he didn’t give up the drugs.
“Mr. Cameron was a drug dealer. There’s no way to sugarcoat that,” said Mohlar.
The victim’s son, Everett J. Cameron Sr., testified that his father picked up as many as 90 oxycodone pills every two weeks from a pharmacy, and that he would sell some of them. Cameron Sr. said he also would sell some pills for his father.
But there was one person he said his father should not have sold to.
“If I found out it was Rob [Nelson my father was going to meet on Oct. 31, 2009], I would’ve kept him right away from there,” Cameron Sr. testified.
Cameron Sr. said his father filled his prescription the previous day and had many on him when they went hunting that morning.
Everett L. Cameron was found dead in his pickup truck at about 4:20 p.m. that day. His pills were not found.
Nelson told state police in a taped interview that he had met with Cameron to tell him he couldn’t pay him. That seemed odd to Detective David Pelletier.
“I keep thinking, ‘If I owe a guy $35, I don’t need to meet him. I can tell him on the phone,’” said Pelletier. “It just doesn’t make sense.”
Nelson originally told the detectives that he had borrowed $35 from Cameron and that he didn’t take drugs. He later revealed in the interview, however, that he had taken Xanax, Vicodin, oxycodone, marijuana and sleep aids all in the previous 48 hours. He had had eight or nine alcoholic drinks that evening, as well.
Nelson also told the detectives that he had fired a gun two days before Cameron was killed. He said he was sighting in a rifle at a Solon sand pit with a friend.
Because Nelson has a 1994 felony conviction for burglary of a motor vehicle, he is prohibited from owning a gun.
“You can understand why we’re questioning you, can’t you?” Pelletier asked Nelson in the interview.
Pelletier also said that Cameron’s cellphone records indicated that Nelson was the only one Cameron had called that afternoon.
“There is no other mystery person,” said Pelletier. “It’s just you.”
Pelletier added that the murder didn’t appear to be done in anger, but more out of desperation and opportunity.
The trial will continue Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.