BANGOR, Maine — The arrest last week of an Orono man in the slaying of a 15-year-old Glenburn girl brought the number of pending murder or manslaughter cases in Penobscot County to nine — an apparent all time record — and the number of defendants to 10.
A tenth case involving defendant Michael Carter, 31, of Lemoine that originated in Hancock County, is scheduled to be tried in September in Bangor.
As of Monday, more than a third of the state’s pending 28 cases in which a death was ruled a homicide were filed in Penobscot County.
Trial dates have been set in 11 of those 28 cases, according to information provided by the Maine Attorney General’s Office. Dates have been set in two of the Penobscot County cases.
Kyle J. Dube, 20, of Orono has been charged with knowing and intentional murder in connection with the death of Nichole Cable on May 12, the day she went missing. Her body was found late May 20 in a wooded area of Old Town.
Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said Friday that he did not attribute any significance to the number of murder and manslaughter cases waiting to be resolved in Penobscot County.
“There’s an ebb and flow to this kind of thing in the long run,” Stokes said. “In two years, we could have that many cases pending in Cumberland County and one or two in Penobscot.”
In addition to Dube and Carter, the defendants are: William Hall, 31, of Bangor; Roxanne Jeskey, 49, of Bangor; Jason A. Trickett, 42, transient; Nicholas J. Sexton, 31, of Warwick, R.I.; Randall “Ricky” Daluz, 34, of Brockton, Mass.; Dustin Brown, 29, of Bangor; Akeem T. Harris, 23, of Amityville, N.Y.; David Coon, 50, of Bangor; and Peter Robinson, 50, of Bradford, who is awaiting sentencing.
Stokes said that the homicides in the Jeskey and Hall cases, scheduled for trial in June and August, respectively, are nearly two years old.
“The statewide average is about a year from the time of the incident to a trial,” he said. “The more complicated a case is, and if issues of [a defendant’s] competency are involved, the longer it takes for a case to get to trial.”
Competency is an issue in the Hall and Jeskey cases, according to previously published reports. Both were charged with murder in connection with the unrelated deaths of two different people in the same week in the summer of 2011.
Last week, Hall was found not competent to stand trial and committed to Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta until he can be restored to competency. If he is found competent at a hearing set for Aug. 2, his jury trial would begin Aug. 26.
Hall has pleaded not guilty to intentional or knowing murder or depraved indifference murder in connection with the slaying of Melvin F. Abreu, 28, of Bangor on June 9, 2011, in Hall’s apartment at 94-96 Fourth St. He also has pleaded not guilty to escaping from Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center on June 28, 2011, where he had been taken by police for an evaluation.
Jeskey, whose jury-waived trial is set to begin June 24 at the Penobscot Judicial Center, was found competent to stand trial following a four-day hearing in April. On Friday, Jeskey pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and asked that the trial be continued.
Superior Court Justice Ann Murray recused herself from the case on Friday. A new judge has not been assigned.
Stokes said that if the trials of Hall and Jeskey are continued, they most likely could not be held until after the first of the year.
All defendants but Brown are being held without bail or have been unable to post bail. All but Carter and Daluz, who are being held at the Hancock County Jail, are in custody at the Penobscot County Jail.
Information about when Brown was released was not available Monday.
Robinson was convicted of manslaughter April 2 in the crowbar beating death of his neighbor after being tried on a murder charge. The jury of seven men and five women found Robinson not guilty of murder in the Nov. 12, 2011 death of David P. Trask, 71, of Hudson.
The defendant testified during the trial that he acted in self-defense, telling the jury that he thought the cellphone holder on Trask’s belt was a holster with a gun in it, and he feared Trask would shoot him.
Robinson faces up to 30 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.
Trickett has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in the stabbing death of Andy D. Smith, 38, near 69 First St. in Bangor on May 22, 2012, during a group fight. Trickett’s trial date has not been set but could be held as early as July.
Sexton and Daluz are co-defendants accused of killing three people, then setting the car they were in on fire, in what police have called a drug deal gone bad in August. The men are charged in connection with the deaths of Daniel T. Borders, 26, of Hermon; Nicolle A. Lugdon, 24, of Eddington; and Lucas A. Tuscano, 28, of Bradford in Bangor.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to three counts each of intentional or knowing murder and one count each of arson. A trial date has not been set, but the defendants are expected to be tried together.
Brown is charged with manslaughter in the death of his 3-month-old son, Xander C. Brown, who died on Nov. 25 in Bangor. The autopsy, performed by the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta, determined the cause of death to be “inflicted trauma.” His trial date has not been set.
Harris pleaded not guilty April 26 to intentional or knowing murder in connection with the stabbing death of Thomas N. Taylor, 30, of Bangor on April 9 at the Birch Circle Apartments Taylor died of a single stab wound to the back at Eastern Maine Medical Center a short time after he was stabbed about 6 p.m.
One witness told police that both Harris and Taylor approached each other with knives, according to the affidavit. His trial date has not been set.
Coon is charged with intentional or knowing murder in the death of Sherry Clifford, 49, on May 3 at the Jefferson Street apartment the couple shared in Bangor. Clifford died of asphyxiation, according to her autopsy report.
The defendant, who is expected to be indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury Wednesday, has said that he tried to subdue Clifford during one of her drunken rages and she stopped breathing.
Dube also could be indicted Wednesday. An autopsy on Cable’s body has been completed, but the results have not been released. It’s highly unlikely that Dube would not have been charged unless investigators and prosecutors were confident the manner of Cable’s death was homicide.
If convicted of murder, defendants face between 15 years and life in prison. Those charged with manslaughter face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.