BANGOR, Maine — The trial of an Orono man accused of kidnapping and killing a 15-year-old girl from Glenburn and Alton in May 2013 has been set for February at the Penobscot Judicial Center, but the defense team has filed a motion to move the trial to a different county because of pretrial publicity, including the appearance of the victim’s mother on the “Dr. Phil” TV show.
Kyle Dube, 21, pleaded not guilty in June 2013 to one count each of kidnapping and murder in the death of Nichole Cable on May 12, 2013.
The trial is to begin Feb. 23, Stephen Smith of Bangor, Dube’s attorney, said Tuesday after he and co-counsel Wendy Hatch of Bangor met with Superior Court Justice William Anderson and Assistant Attorneys General Leane Zainea and Donald Macomber. The trial is scheduled to last two weeks, Zainea said.
Dube was indicted May 29, 2013, by the Penobscot County grand jury, and he is being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail.
He is accused of luring Cable out of her mother’s home in Glenburn by using someone else’s identity on Facebook, then killing her in an abduction gone wrong. Dube allegedly planned to kidnap the girl, hide her, then find her and play the hero.
The teenager died of “asphyxia due to compression of the neck,” according to Dr. Margaret Greenwald of the state medical examiner’s office.
Cable’s body was found late May 20, 2013, in a wooded area of Old Town after Dube’s girlfriend and brother told police where Dube said he had left the girl’s body, according to court documents.
Smith on Friday filed four pretrial motions — one for a change of venue, one seeking expert witness reports and two to suppress evidence.
Under Maine law, the prosecution and defense teams could agree to move a trial to any county in the state. If the state opposes the motion but the judge approves it, the trial would have to be held in a county adjacent to Penobscot County.
The trial could be held in Aroostook, Piscataquis, Washington, Hancock, Waldo or Somerset counties, but the Penobscot Judicial Center has the largest courtroom, which could be needed given the public interest in the case, and the most modern security system.
In their motion to move the trial, Smith and Hatch argued that the five-day search for Cable that began May 15, 2013, “used social media, posters and was the subject of countless news articles and television.” The defense team also argued that the appearance of Cable’s mother, Kristine Wiley, and stepfather, Jason Wiley, both of Glenburn on the nationally syndicated Dr. Phil show in September 2013 received a great deal of local publicity.
“The search for the body, the subsequent arrest and publicity surrounding the case generally heavily implicated the widespread use of social media,” Smith and Hatch said in the motion. “Given the widespread media coverage, the breadth of types of media and the center of gravity of the search having been in the Greater Bangor metro area, it will be difficult, if not impossible for the defendant to get an impartial trial.”
The defense team also has asked to suppress statements Dube allegedly made to police and his fellow inmates at the Penobscot County Jail, where he has been held without bail since his arrest on May 21, 2013. Smith and Hatch also have asked that all information obtained from Dube’s cellphone should be suppressed because it was obtained without a search warrant.
The prosecution opposes the motions to suppress but did not oppose the request for expert witness reports, Macomber said late Tuesday afternoon in an email. He said they would deal with the motion to move the trial just prior to jury selection.
Smith said that he expected the hearing on the suppression motions would be scheduled for November.
If found guilty of kidnapping and murder, Dube would face between 25 years and life in prison on the murder charge alone. If found not guilty by reason of insanity, he would be committed to Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta until he is deemed not to be a risk to society.