A Massachusetts man was convicted Wednesday of murder and robbery for a second time in the 2016 death of an Oakfield man during a marijuana deal, according to the Maine attorney general’s office.
Marcus Asante, 25, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, originally was found guilty of the charges by an Aroostook County jury in November 2018 and sentenced the following year to 35 years in prison.
Last year, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court overturned those convictions because of faulty jury instructions.
Asante’s retrial was held in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn out of concern that an unbiased jury could not be seated again in Houlton. Also, after Asante’s first trial, Superior Court Justice Harold Stewart II relocated to Cumberland County.
Asante drove to Maine to purchase $20,000 worth of marijuana from Douglas Morin Jr., 31, of Oakfield, according to court documents. On Oct. 16, 2016, the two men got into an argument over the deal.
Prosecutors maintained at both trials that Asante shot Morin nine times, and left him to die of head and neck wounds as he sat in his Lincoln Town Car on PD Road in Sherman.
The jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for about three and a half hours over two days after hearing five days of testimony, according to Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber, who prosecuted the case.
Asante has been held without bail while awaiting a new trial.
A second sentencing date has not been set.
Macomber said Wednesday that prosecutors again would recommend a 35-year sentence. Under Maine law, a harsher sentence may not be imposed following a guilty verdict in a retrial.
“The state is pleased that Mr. Asante has again been found guilty of murder and robbery,” he said. “The jury clearly understood that it was Mr. Asante who is responsible for the shooting death and robbery of Doug Morin.”
Asante’s attorney, Brian Kelley of Massachusetts, did not immediately return a request for comment.
Morin was killed a few weeks before Maine voters narrowly approved recreational marijuana use. Retail pot businesses did not open until last fall due to delays in the rulemaking process.
After his first trial, Asante faced between 25 years and life on the murder charge and up to 30 years in prison on the robbery charge.