April 26, 2018
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20 hours is ‘one of the longest’ jury deliberations for attorneys in Bangor triple murder trial

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Jurors in the triple murder trial have deliberated for 20 hours over two days without reaching a verdict. That is a record for most of the attorneys involved in the case.

The jury of six men and six women left the Penobscot Judicial Center about 6 p.m. Thursday after deliberating for nine hours. They are to return 8:30 a.m. Friday.

The jury has not told Superior Court Justice William Anderson that they are deadlocked.

Co-defendants Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, Rhode Island, and Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Massachusetts, known by the nickname “Ricky” or “Money,” have each been charged with three counts of murder and one count of arson in connection with the deaths. Investigators have described the slayings as a drug deal gone bad. Sexton and Daluz have pleaded not guilty.

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 burning rental car Aug. 13, 2012, at 22 Target Industrial Circle in Bangor.

Jeffrey Silverstein, the Bangor attorney who along with Hunter Tzovarras represents Daluz, said Thursday that a Hancock County jury in Malia Lowry murder trial was out 23 hours over two days.

Lowry, 58, was acquitted in 2001 of murder but found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter in the shooting death of her boyfriend. Robert Leighton was killed in July 2000 at their trailer in Township 10, according to the Bangor Daily News archives.

Lowry was accused of intentionally shooting Leighton, 26, six times with a .38-caliber handgun as they lay on their bed. Prosecutors argued at the trial that she acted out of jealousy after discovering Leighton was interested in another woman.

She testified that she shot Leighton accidentally after he ordered her to hold the gun to his back in what the defense characterized as his death-obsessed sexual fantasies.

Lowry was sentenced to 20 years in prison with all but six suspended and six years of probation.

Sexton’s attorneys, Jeffrey Toothaker of Ellsworth and David Bate of Bangor, and Assistant Attorney General Deb Cashman all said they have never had a jury out for 20 hours.

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese, the lead prosecutor in the trial of Sexton and Daluz, said she wasn’t sure if the case set a career record for deliberation time.

“It is one of the longest,” she said.

Jurors in Bangor deliberated for 11 hours on Wednesday without leaving the courthouse. They returned at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, when they viewed video of an individual running from a fire and surveillance footage of a defendant renting a room at the Ramada Inn in Bangor.

After a lunch break Thursday, jurors passed around the guns the prosecution has said were the murder weapons. Some jurors inspected the .32-caliber derringer and .380-caliber pistol, which were sealed in clear plastic. They appeared to be checking the safety on the pistol.

The prosecution has said Sexton is the man shown in the video running from the burning car and the man shown coming in and out of the Ramada Inn on Odlin Road.

The trial, which began April 28 with jury selection, had opening statements May 1 and testimony starting May 2. Closings arguments and instructions were completed late Tuesday afternoon.

Sexton took the stand Monday and said Daluz shot Borders accidentally but killed Tuscano, then, Lugdon intentionally. Sexton said that Daluz forced him to set the car on fire.

Daluz did not take the stand.

The defendants are being held separately in holding cells in the courthouse but are brought into the courtroom when the judge addresses the jury. Sexton is being held in the Hancock County Jail. Daluz is being held at the Penobscot County Jail.

If convicted, Sexton and Daluz face between 25 years and life in prison for each murder count and up to 30 years in prison on the arson charge.

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