BANGOR, Maine — The sound of two hands clapping shattered the silence in the courtroom Friday afternoon a moment after the jury foreman, in a barely audible voice, twice said “guilty.”
David Cable of Alton, the father of 15-year-old murder victim Nichole Cable, clapped two times before a judicial marshal quietly shook his hand in congratulations. Other family members and friends cried and hugged each other.
A jury of seven men and five women took just 45 minutes to find Kyle Dube, 21, of Orono guilty of murder and kidnapping in Cable’s death on May 12, 2013.
The victim’s mother, Kristine Wiley of Glenburn, and father separately left the Penobscot Judicial Center without speaking to reporters after sitting through nine days of testimony in the trial, which detailed the brutal crime.
Wiley later told WLBZ TV that “[Dube] took someone wonderful and threw her away … and that’s not OK. He should feel bad about it.”
Dube did not react as the verdict was read but his mother, Tammy Dube, and brother, Dustin Dube, hugged and wept with other relatives as the defendant was led from the courtroom.
Dube was accused of creating a fake Facebook page using the identity of Bryan Butterfield, a boy his girlfriend had dated, then killing Cable in an abduction gone wrong.
Superior Court Justice Ann Murray ordered that Dube continue to be held without bail while awaiting sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.
“We’re very grateful to the jury,” Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber, who prosecuted the case with Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, said outside the courthouse. “They took this case very seriously. The quick verdict showed that we had a mountain of evidence showing that Kyle Dube was guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.
“We’ve spoken to Nichole Cable’s family,” Macomber continued. “They’re very grateful, both to all the law enforcement officers, Maine State Police, warden service, Penobscot County sheriff’s office, the FBI, everybody that assisted in the investigation to first find Nichole and, then, to bring her killer to justice.”
Dube’s legal team, Stephen Smith of Augusta and Wendy Hatch of Waterville, said outside the courthouse that they would appeal the verdict to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court but that he they would not say on what grounds until they have read a transcript of the trial.
Macomber said that Dube was “obviously disappointed and very upset” by the verdict.
“The Cables have lost a daughter and the Dubes have lost a son,” Smith said of the impact of the verdict on his client’s family.
In closing arguments Friday morning, Zainea said that all the evidence showed that “Kyle Dube and only Kyle Dube kidnapped and murdered Nichole Cable.”
Dube’s DNA was found on a hat and sock discovered at the end of the road where Cable’s mother lived, the prosecutor said. It also was found under Cable’s fingernails.
Smith told the jurors that Dube had no motive to kill Cable, because the two were friends and lovers, and he never confessed. Smith said that Dube’s ex-girlfriend, Sarah Mersinger, now 18, of Glenburn “hated Nichole Cable” and had access to Kyle Dube’s phone and computer.
“Kyle had no motive, very little opportunity and there’s a perfectly viable suspect who had all those things,” Smith said. “There was no reason, none, zero, for Kyle to kill Nichole. That’s reasonable doubt.”
In two recorded interviews with Maine State Police detectives played for the jury last week and Wednesday, Dube repeatedly denied having anything to do with Cable’s disappearance, but he gave a fellow inmate a written confession shown to jurors Thursday.
Zainea told jurors that only the killer could have known the details, including a diagram of the area near Cable’s mother’s home where the girl was kidnapped, that were outlined in Dube’s handwritten confession.
“The information about how her fingernails had been scraped by her killer was never released to the press,” Zainea told the jury. “In the confession, Mr. Dube wrote and drew a picture of how he did that.”
Smith said that in the letters Dube wrote to inmate Scott Ford, Dube tried to protect his girlfriend.
“I’ll never try and put this on Sarah,” Dube wrote. “I don’t care if she is with someone else or not. It’s my problem, not hers.”
Dube turned down a plea offer, according to a previously published report. Details of the offer were not made public. Attorneys for both sides declined Friday to discuss it.
Macomber said that the state would seek a significant sentence.
“There’s just no question of Kyle Dube’s guilt,” he said after the verdict. “He put [Cable’s] family through a trial and now he’s going to pay with a long, long sentence.”
Smith declined to discuss what sentence he and Hatch might recommend but said it would be closer to the 25-year minimum than the state’s recommendation.
Dube faces between 25 years and life in prison on the murder charge. He faces up to 30 years in prison on the kidnapping charge.
Murray could sentence Dube to serve sentences consecutively instead of at the same time.
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