A jury deliberated for two hours Monday before finding a Bangor man guilty in the Jan. 7, 2018, murder of Israel “Izzy” Lewis at a boarding home on Second Street.
The conviction of 31-year-old F Daly early Monday afternoon concluded a trial that started early last week and included testimony by Daly’s ex-girlfriend that he confessed to the murder shortly after it happened.
Israel Lewis, 51, was shot twice, once in the chest and once in the head, according to the chief medical examiner. In their case against Daly, prosecutors from the attorney general’s office pointed to evidence including an investigation that connected shell casings left at the murder scene to a 9mm Ruger handgun found in the ceiling of an apartment that Daly shared with two other people on Ohio Street.
During the last day of the trial, Daly wore a three-piece black suit with a purple shirt and a light tie, along with glasses and Nike sneakers. As the jurors announced their verdict, he was still and showed no visible emotion. At one point, he appeared to slowly shake his head. Then, he stared down at the defense table for a few moments when the jurors left the courtroom.
His defense attorneys, Kaylee Folster and Jeffrey Silverstein, have said the state’s case was only based on circumstantial evidence and that there were no fingerprints, DNA testing or photographs that could verify that Daly was at the Second Street boarding house at the time of the killing. They also raised doubts about the credibility of the testimony from Daly’s ex-girlfriend, questioning why she waited 20 days after the killing to tell police on Jan. 27, 2018, that he confessed to it.
Daly — who does not have a first name but uses the nickname “Frank” — declined to testify in the trial, according to the Associated Press.
“We’re obviously very disappointed in the verdict,” Folster told reporters outside the Penobscot Judicial Center. “We thought the state had [a weak case] and this is not the way we were expecting this to go.”
Superior Court Justice Ann Murray did not set a date for Daly’s sentencing.
“Appeals will happen in time after sentencing,” Folster said. “That’s the appropriate time.”
Several of Lewis’ relatives attended the trial, including a younger brother, Joel Lewis, who now lives in Arlington, Texas. “I feel great after the verdict,” he said. “I feel like his death did not go unanswered. They did a great job with the investigation to give my brother justice.”
Given that Israel was about a year older than him, Joel Lewis said that they were “almost like twins” while growing up in Springfield, Massachusetts, and that he was permanently changed by his older brother’s death.
“He was really, really good to me,” Joel Lewis said. “He always looked after me, even when we became adults. If I was sick and had the flu, he’d call me every other day just to make sure I’m better, and nobody else has ever done that to me before. Ever.”
The case was prosecuted by Lisa Bogue and Leane Zainea of the Maine attorney general’s office. After the conviction, Bogue said that she was pleased with the outcome and “a little bit surprised” that the jury took just two hours to convict Daly after the weeklong trial.
“There was a lot of information, obviously, when a case takes that long to come in,” she said. “But they’ve had the weekend to think about it, perhaps, and we’re happy with the result.”