BANGOR, Maine — Half of the 49 people needed for the jury pool in the trial of two men accused of being responsible for one of the city’s grisliest crimes had been selected on Tuesday.
More than 50 potential jurors still must be questioned individually before the trial of Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., and Randall “Ricky” Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., can begin. Opening statements most likely won’t be presented until Thursday.
The men have pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in connection with the deaths of Nicolle A. Lugdon, 24, of Eddington; Daniel T. Borders, 26, of Hermon; and Lucas A. Tuscano, 28, of Bradford on Aug. 12 or 13, 2012. Investigators have described the slayings as a drug deal gone bad.
The bullet-riddled bodies of the victims were found burned inside a white Pontiac sedan with Rhode Island plates that was discovered on fire early Aug. 13, 2012, in the back parking lot of Automatic Distributors, located at 22 Target Industrial Circle in Bangor. The car had been rented by Sexton.
Superior Court Justice William Anderson said Monday that he wanted to seat 16 jurors, 12 who will deliberate and four alternates. To do that, he needs 49 people acceptable to the prosecution and defense teams as the pool from which the final selection will be made.
Forty of 93 prospective jurors were questioned individually Tuesday. Fourteen of those were dismissed for cause by attorneys for a variety of reasons, including scheduling conflicts, work hardships, connections to the defendants and/or witnesses and inability to be impartial.
Nearly every prospective juror was familiar with the incident from media reports. Few had followed the case closely. Some were friends of friends of the victims. Others had relatives who have used illegal drugs or had dealt with addiction issues themselves.
About 200 people were summoned Monday for jury duty, but about one-third of them were dismissed for age, health and other reasons earlier in the month. A total of 123 potential jurors came through the doors of the Bangor courthouse Monday. At the end of the day, 93 people were left in the jury pool.
The trial is expected to last at least two weeks and as long as four weeks.