BANGOR, Maine — A reluctant witness took the stand Tuesday in a triple murder trial and told jurors she had been scared to tell police she had seen the men accused of killing her sister and boyfriend handle guns but was testifying about it because “my sister and Dan deserve some rest.”
Katelyn Lugdon, 19, testified that she saw Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, Rhode Island, and Randall “Ricky” Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Massachusetts, handle guns on Aug. 11, 2012. Lugdon’s appearance came on the fourth day of testimony in the joint trial of Sexton and Daluz at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
The charred bodies of Nicolle A. Lugdon, 24, of Eddington; Daniel T. Borders, 26, of Hermon and Lucas A. Tuscano, 28, of Bradford were found in a rental car on Aug. 13, 2012, in the parking lot of a business located at 22 Target Industrial Circle in Bangor. All three had been shot and then burned, according to the prosecution. Investigators have described the slayings as a drug deal gone bad.
Katelyn Lugdon is the sister of Nicolle Lugdon and was living with Borders at the time of their deaths.
Sexton and Daluz have pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder and one count of arson.
Katelyn Lugdon was arrested last week in Saugus, Massachusetts, after she did not appear at the Penobscot Judicial Center on April 28 for an interview with prosecutors. She has been held for nearly a week at the Penobscot County Jail unable to make $25,000 cash bail.
Since she has testified, her bail will be reviewed by a judge at 1 p.m. Wednesday. She could be released after that hearing with a condition that she remain in the state and available to prosecutors.
An emotional Lugdon testified that she and Borders sold drugs to make a living. She said that they originally bought drugs from Sexton but, later, were able to obtain them more cheaply from her sister. Her sister got them from someone in Bradford, Lugdon said.
She testified that when Borders had a supply of pills, he would send out a mass text. Under cross-examination, she identified one shown to her from Borders’ phone records that said: “yo I got fire uptown and killer downtown hit me back in blues if you want more than ten.”
Lugdon said that she and Borders paid Sexton $30 per pill for Percocets, then resold them for $40 a pill. She told jurors that her sister charged them $25 per pill. Lugdon said that Borders used the term “killer” to mean the drugs were of high quality.
On Aug. 11, 2012, Sexton and Daluz picked up Borders and Katelyn Lugdon in Glenburn, where they lived with another couple. Lugdon said they drove around Bangor trying to rent a motel for the two men but none was available, so they went to Brewer.
Once in a motel room, Sexton and Daluz weighed and cut cocaine for resale, Lugdon testified. It was while there that she saw two small guns on the bed, Lugdon said. Sexton took one and put it in his waistband. Daluz picked up the other, she said.
Police did not learn that information until after Lugdon was arrested, she admitted under cross-examination. Lugdon said she was scared to talk about guns with police.
Lugdon said that things got “hostile” in the motel room when Sexton put her “in a corner” and demanded to know who her sister was buying drugs from. Lugdon told Sexton that she did not know but told jurors it was from someone who lived in Bradford.
She said that after her sister and Borders were killed, she received a phone call from a man she believed was Sexton.
“He told me to ‘be quiet,’” she testified.
Lugdon stopped talking to police shortly after that in September 2012 and moved to Maryland.
“I was scared, and I was sad, and I was 18, and I didn’t know what to do,” she testified.
Lugdon said that her sister came to Glenburn early on the day she died.
“She woke me up and was jumping on the bed,” Lugdon told the jury. “She was very happy.”
Lugdon testified that Borders and her sister used cocaine, then left. She said that the two returned a short time later with Nicole Rivers, who was the girlfriend of James Nastri, 33. Both lived in Connecticut but are incarcerated in Vermont on federal charges related to heroin distribution, according to information posted on the federal court’s electronic case filing system.
Rivers told jurors Wednesday that Nastri supplied Nicolle Lugdon with Percocets that he purchased in New York City for between $10 and $17 per pill but could sell them for between $30 and $35 per pill in Maine. Rivers testified that she and Nastri sold pills to support their heroin addiction, which could cost them up to $1,000 a day each.
When in Maine, they stayed with friends in Bradford, Rivers testified. She said that Nicolle Lugdon often got pills from Nastri in Bradford when he was in Maine.
She also said that Nastri supplied pills to Lucas Tuscano, who knew Lugdon. Rivers’ testimony was the first time Tuscano had been linked to another victim since testimony in the trial began.
Rivers also said that on Aug. 11, 2012, she and Nastri picked Lugdon up at an airport in New York City and drove her to Maine overnight. On the drive up, Rivers learned that Nastri expected her to share him with Lugdon romantically.
In October, Rivers pleaded guilty in Burlington, Vermont, to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin. Her plea agreement with federal prosecutors calls for her to testify against Nastri and in other trials when needed.
Other people involved in the drug trade in the Bangor area are expected to take the stand Wednesday. The trial is expected to take three to four weeks.
If convicted, Sexton and Daluz face 25 years to life in prison on the murder charges.