December 19, 2018
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Jury continues to weigh fate of second man accused in Center Street shooting

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
Robert Hansley walks into the courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center for the closing arguments of his trial in Bangor Wednesday.

Jurors deciding the fate of a New York man accused of shooting two men in a Center Street apartment in Bangor more than two years ago deliberated for about two hours Wednesday before asking to be excused for the night.

The jury of five men and seven women is expected to resume its deliberations at 9 a.m. Thursday in the trial of Robert Hansley, 29, of Brooklyn, New York.

Hansley, also known as “Rocco” and “Ben,” is charged with murder and elevated aggravated assault in connection with the death of Robert “Ricco” Mark Kennedy, 38, of Bangor and the wounding of Barry “Slice” Jenkins, 43, also of Brooklyn, on Nov. 27, 2015.

Hansley’s co-defendant, Thomas “Ferg” Ferguson, 39, of Brooklyn, New York, was found guilty of the same charges in June following a jury-waived trial. He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 28.

Jurors were not told of Ferguson’s conviction.

They began deliberating at about 3:50 p.m. Wednesday after hearing five days of testimony at the Penobscot Judicial Center. They asked to examine the murder weapon, which was sealed in plastic, and for a read back of testimony about a phone call Ferguson received an hour before the shootings occurred about 3:30 a.m. more than two years ago.

Hansley, Ferguson, Jenkins and Kennedy were in Bangor for the Thanksgiving weekend of 2015 and sold drugs in the days leading up to the shooting, according to testimony.

Ferguson allegedly was angry with Kennedy, the man who died, because Kennedy had bested him in an impromptu wrestling match in front of his friends.

That’s according to what Jenkins, who was shot six times but survived, said in his testimony to the jury last week. Ferguson stopped selling drugs with Kennedy and partnered with Hansley instead, he said.

Assistant Attorney General Robert “Bud” Ellis, who is prosecuting the case with Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, told the jury in closing arguments that both Ferguson and Hansley “planned to ambush and kill the victims.”

“We are stressing to you that Hansley shot the firearm,” he said. “As long as all of you agree that he either shot them or was an accomplice means he’s guilty. They were there to shoot them and get out. That was their mindset.”

Bangor attorney Hunter Tzovarras, who is defending Hansley with Kaylee Folster, said in his closing argument that Ferguson was the one who got the murder weapon as payment for a drug debt. He also said that Jenkins’ memory could not be relied upon because of his conflicting statements to police about the shooting.

“Mr. Jenkins is just unreliable or confused about what happened,” he said in his closing statement. “When Jenkins was first in the ambulance he said it was Thomas Ferguson who shot him, which is probably the most accurate description of what happened. In a later interview, he said both men shot at him. We know now that there was only one gun. When he says Hansley was shooting at him, he’s just wrong about that.

“We would agree they are equally guilty for selling drugs but not for murder,” Tzovarras continued.

Hansley and Ferguson, who waived his right to a jury, were tried separately. Superior Court Justice William Anderson, who presided over both trials, granted a motion for separate trials because no judge in Maine has previously conducted a jury-waived trial and a jury trial at the same time.

Both men face 25 years to life in prison on the murder charges and up to 30 years in prison on the elevated aggravated assault charges.

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