November 20, 2019
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John D. Williams’ murder trial delayed as defense mulls calling expert to challenge crime scene reconstruction

Shawn Patrick Ouellette | Pool via Portland Press Herald
Shawn Patrick Ouellette | Pool via Portland Press Herald
Defense attorney Verne Paradie addresses the court on the opening day of John D. Williams' trial for murder for the fatal shooting of Cpl. Eugene Cole.

PORTLAND, Maine — The trial of the man accused of murder in the 2018 shooting death of a Somerset County deputy will be on hold until Tuesday while defense attorneys decide whether to call an expert witness, who must travel from Georgia.

John D. Williams is charged with murder in the April 25, 2018, shooting death of Somerset County Cpl. Eugene Cole.

Defense attorney Verne Paradie has argued that Williams, 30, is guilty of manslaughter, not murder, because drug use prevented him from forming the intent to murder Cole.

The prosecution and the defense have agreed that Williams shot Cole, but the trial is about whether he intended to kill the deputy when he did so.

Paradie said Monday morning that he has not yet decided whether to call an expert witness to rebut a reconstruction of the crime scene presented to the jury earlier last week.

That witness would only be available on Tuesday, and would have to fly to Portland from Georgia, he said.

Discussions among attorneys and Superior Court Justice Robert Mullen over the weekend resulted in a decision to delay the trial until Tuesday, he said.

Paradie has called only two witnesses to speak in Williams’ defense. Williams was not one of them.

Paradie emphasized that he may still decide not to call the witness. Either way, he said he expects closing arguments to take place on Tuesday.

 



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