State prosecutors are in Bangor this week to argue that a 31-year-old Bangor man is guilty of the Jan. 7, 2018, murder of Israel “Izzy” Lewis at his rooming house at 40 Second St.
During opening arguments Tuesday morning in a murder trial that could last through early next week, Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea said that F “Frank” Daly allegedly confessed to the late evening killing in a conversation with his then-girlfriend shortly afterward, telling her that he had “just clapped Izzy.”
The state’s chief medical examiner has determined that 51-year-old Lewis was shot twice, once in the torso and once in the head, and that he died from the shot to his head.
“Your common sense and reason will tell you that when the defendant told [his ex-girlfriend] that he had ‘just clapped Izzy,’ that he in fact killed Israel Lewis,” Zainea told the 15-person jury gathered at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.
Prosecutors plan to present evidence connecting the spent shell casings that were found at the scene of the murder to a 9mm Ruger handgun that was found 20 days later in the bathroom ceiling of the apartment Daly shared with two other people at 30 Ohio St.
Zainea said the state would present other evidence, including testimony from someone whom Daly allegedly called before the killing to ask where Lewis lived.
Daly has pleaded not guilty to intentional or knowing murder. His defense attorneys, Kaylee Folster and Jeffrey Silverstein, plan to argue that his ex-girlfriend’s testimony was not credible and that there’s a lack of fingerprints, DNA samples or video footage showing Daly entered Lewis’ Second Street apartment on the night of the killing.
In opening arguments, Folster said there will be little corroboration for the testimony that Daly asked someone where Lewis lived before the killing and questioned why it took 20 days for his ex-girlfriend to tell detectives that he had confessed to her, which she told police Jan. 27, 2018.
“You need to ask yourself, would you hold onto that information for 20 days if it was true?” Folster told the jury.
While prosecutors told the jury that the state won’t have to prove a motive in the case, the defense does plans to offer evidence that other people may have wanted to harm Lewis, according to Folster.
Daly came to court on Tuesday wearing a dark suit. Originally from Boston, he is the sixth of seven children and has no first name. Rather than give her children traditional names, Daly’s mother named her seven children after the first seven letters of the alphabet. F Daly uses the nickname Frank.
During their opening arguments, the defense and prosecutors both reminded the jury that the state would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Daly knowingly or intentionally murdered Lewis.
Lewis was from Massachusetts but had lived in Bangor for four years, according to his obituary. He was described by other tenants of the rooming house as a friendly man who kept to himself.