Jury deadlocked on one defendant in Bangor triple murder trial

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese shows the location of the gunshot wounds to victims in the triple homicide of three people in August 2012 during her closing arguments on May 20.
Brian Feulner | BDN
Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese shows the location of the gunshot wounds to victims in the triple homicide of three people in August 2012 during her closing arguments on May 20.
Posted May 27, 2014, at 11:55 a.m.
Last modified May 28, 2014, at 3:18 p.m.

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Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, Rhode Island, speaks to his attorney Jeffrey Toothaker during the closing arguments of his and Randall “Ricky” Daluz's trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center on May 20.
Brian Feulner | BDN
Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, Rhode Island, speaks to his attorney Jeffrey Toothaker during the closing arguments of his and Randall “Ricky” Daluz's trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center on May 20.

BANGOR, Maine — Jurors in the triple murder trial are deadlocked on one or more counts involving at least one defendant but have reached verdicts on other charges after deliberating more than 40 hours over four days, Justice William Anderson said about 5:45 p.m. at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Anderson referred to a note sent out by the jury shortly before 5 p.m. that said they could not reach agreement on all counts for one defendant.

The note did not indicate on which defendant they were deadlocked, the judge said. It also did not say on which counts they had reached verdicts and on which they disagreed.

The judge told jurors they must continue to deliberate but gave them the choice of staying late Tuesday or going home for the night. Deliberations are to resume at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Co-defendants Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, Rhode Island, and Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Massachusetts, known by the nickname “Ricky” or “Money,” each have 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.

If jurors are unable to reach a unanimous verdict on all counts, a mistrial would be declared and one or both defendants most likely would be retried on those counts on which the jury deadlocked.

Jurors appeared tired and stressed as the came into the courtroom to hear Anderson’s instructions. They deliberated for 11 hours last Wednesday, nine hours Thursday and about 13 hours Friday without reaching a verdict. The trial began April 28 with three days of jury selection.

All attorneys with the prosecution and the defense have said these are the longest deliberations in their careers.

Sexton’s attorney, Jeffrey Toothaker of Ellsworth, predicted outside the courthouse after the jury had left that jurors would announce before noon Wednesday on which counts they have made decisions.

“I’ve got a feeling that after a couple of hours of deliberating in the morning, they’ll send out the same note and we’ll have some verdicts then,” he said.

Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor, who represents Daluz, said he could not tell what the jurors were thinking after they had left the courthouse.

“The jury is still poker-faced,” he said. “But I’d be very surprised if the verdict is based on Mr. Sexton’s version of events.”

S exton took the stand May 19 and said Daluz shot Borders accidentally but killed Tuscano and 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 at 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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