BANGOR, Maine — The three people whose charred bodies were found in a burning car on Aug. 13, 2012, spent the last night of their lives selling and using drugs, according to testimony Wednesday at the trial of the two men charged with slaying them.
An apartment at 15 Bolling Drive in Bangor was the last place Nicolle A. Lugdon, 24, of Eddington; Daniel T. Borders, 26, of Hermon; and Lucas A. Tuscano, 28, of Bradford were seen together by friends before their bodies were found in a burning rental car on Aug. 13, 2012, at 22 Target Industrial Circle in Bangor.
Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, Rhode Island, and Randall “Ricky” Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Massachusetts, have been charged with three counts of murder and one count of arson in connection with their deaths. Investigators have described the slayings as a drug deal gone bad. Sexton and Daluz have pleaded not guilty.
The couple who lived in the three-bedroom apartment at 15 Bolling Drive took the stand on the fifth day of testimony at the Penobscot Judicial Center. Each said that Sexton picked the three up about around 11 p.m. Aug. 12, 2012, and they never saw their friends again.
Beverly Schell, 33, of Bangor said that her husband, Jeramie Schell, 36, of Ellsworth bought Percocet pills from Lugdon and resold them. Both testified that at the time they were addicted to the prescription drug, which contains oxycodone and acetaminophen.
Beverly Schell said that when Lugdon arrived, she did not have enough pills to meet the number that Jeramie Schell had “presold” to customers. She said that Lugdon and Borders both made phone calls trying to “re-up” the supply. At one point Lugdon left and returned with Tuscano, who had pills with him.
When asked under direct examination if she had ever seen Nicholas Sexton before he showed up at her door that night, Beverly Schell said, “No.” She also testified that Borders had two phone conversations with Sexton that night.
The first she described as “normal.” The second left Borders “aggravated and pissed off,” she told the jury.
Jeramie Schell corroborated much of his wife’s testimony. He said that he had met Sexton through Borders before he came to the Schell’s home the night of Aug. 12, 2012. He identified Sexton from the stand but said he had never met Daluz.
The prosecution has said that Sexton and Daluz picked Lugdon, Borders and Tuscano up at the Schells ’ apartment and later shot them, then set the car on fire to destroy evidence.
Both Schells testified that the trio left with Sexton to smoke marijuana and were expected to return in about five minutes. Borders was expecting Sexton to pick him up, they said.
“Nicolle invited herself to go along,” Beverly Schell said. “She asked Luke [Tuscano] if he wanted to go. He said no, but she grabbed him by the hand and pulled him off the couch.”
When their friends had not returned by about 11:15 p.m., Jeramie Schell began calling and texting Lugdon and Borders. Customers were arriving, he testified, but he had no pills for them because Tuscano had them.
At first, calls went unanswered. Later, they went straight to voicemail. The Schells said that eventually they went to bed but were awakened between 3 and 4 a.m. by Lugdon’s younger sister Katelyn Lugdon, now 19, of Bangor. She also was living with Borders.
“She was crying hysterically,” Beverly Schell told jurors Wednesday. “She said, ‘I can’t get ahold of Dan or my sister.’ She knew Dan was at our house the last time she talked to him.”
After a few minutes, Katelyn Lugdon left. The next day, about noon, a Bangor police detective came to 15 Bolling Drive, both Schells, who admitted they were not initially honest with investigators, testified.
When asked why she and her husband weren’t forthcoming with police, Beverly Schell replied, “Because my husband was a drug dealer.”
“He’d already been in and out of jail,” she continued. “We decided to do the right thing.”
Jeramie Schell will be cross-examined Thursday as the trial continues. It is expected to last another three weeks.
After testimony in the trial ended Wednesday, Superior Court William Anderson released Katelyn Lugdon from the Penobscot County Jail on personal recognizance bail with numerous conditions. She must live at Shaw House, a shelter for homeless teens in Bangor, check in with Bangor police each day, abide by a curfew, abstain from using drugs and alcohol and undergo random testing for their use.
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 had been held for nearly a week at the Penobscot County Jail unable to make $25,000 cash bail.
Lugdon, who left the courtroom smiling Wednesday afternoon, took the stand Tuesday. She is charged with failure to appear as a state’s witness, a Class E crime. If convicted, she faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Sexton and Daluz each face between 25 years and life in prison if convicted. The men are being held without bail at separate facilities.