An Old Orchard Beach man has pleaded guilty to murder in the death of his roommate.
Dustan Bentley, 31, has been held without bail since he was arrested in March in William Popplewell’s killing. He initially claimed self-defense but changed his plea Tuesday.
An autopsy found Popplewell, 65, died from blunt force trauma, multiple sharp force injuries and ligature strangulation.
Assistant Attorney General Meg Elam said an officer went to the Boisvert Street apartment on March 18 to deliver copies of summonses to Bentley for unrelated traffic offenses. Bentley was dripping with sweat when he came to the door.
Officers returned less than three hours later after a woman reported that Bentley told her he stabbed and killed his roommate. They found Bentley inside the apartment hallway near Popplewell’s body, which was wrapped in trash bags.
Investigators said the two men knew each other from a shelter in Portland.
Defense attorney Joseph Mekonis told the Portland Press Herald that Bentley still does not know why he killed his roommate.
“It was certainly the worst day of his life, and he’s very sorry about that for Mr. Popplewell’s family,” Mekonis said.
Bentley’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May.