January 25, 2020
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Jury selection begins in southern Aroostook murder case

Jen Lynds | The County
Jen Lynds | The County
Marcus Asante (in orange) sits with his court appointed attorney Adam Swanson of Presque Isle during a court hearing on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in Houlton Superior Court. Asante is scheduled to go on trial on Nov. 13.

HOULTON, Maine — Jury selection began Thursday in the case against a Massachusetts man accused of murder in connection with the killing of an Oakfield man in an apparent drug-related robbery nearly two years ago.

Marcus Asante, 23, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, has been charged with murder and robbery in connection with the fatal shooting of Douglas Morin Jr., 31, on Oct. 16, 2016. Two other individuals, Tia Leigh Ludwick, 24, and Darin Goulding, 32, both of Leominster, Massachusetts, were charged with the same crimes, according to court records.

Goulding pleaded guilty in February to robbery in exchange for the state dismissing the murder charge if he agreed to testify against Asante. Prosecutors allege that Asante is the one who pulled the trigger. After Ludwick also pleaded guilty to the crimes, a judge sentenced her in April to 17 years in prison. Morin was Ludwick’s cousin.

Jury selection for Asante’s trial is expected to continue into Friday with the trial expected to start Tuesday, Nov. 13, an Aroostook County Superior Court clerk said Thursday.

Assistant Attorney Generals John Alsop and Donald Macomber are prosecuting the case. Asante is being represented by attorneys Brian Kelley and Adam Swanson.

Justice Harold Stewart II is presiding over the trial in Aroostook County Superior Court in Houlton.

In September 2017, Asante appeared before Stewart to request new attorneys, but the judge denied the request. Asante also decided during the hearing that he would no longer fight attempts by the attorney general’s office to collect his DNA and fingerprints for analysis. His attorneys had objected to the prosecution’s requests.

Morin’s body was found inside a vehicle on PD Road in Sherman. Alsop said the victim had been shot twice in the back of the head after he was planning to meet people in order to sell marijuana. The prosecutor said at Ludwick’s sentencing that the man who had supplied Morin with the marijuana told investigators he had seen Ludwick in a red car, and texts found on Morin’s phone matched texts found on a phone belonging to Ludwick. Alsop said that Ludwick “was going to steal marijuana from her own cousin and as a direct result, Douglas Morin was killed.”

During previous court proceedings, prosecutors and relatives of the victim described Morin as a truck driver and dedicated family man who was very close to his younger sister and young niece.

This story originally appeared on The County.

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