Jury Selection Begins in Retrial of Sherman, Maine Murder Case
Jury selection is underway in the retrial of a Massachusetts man convicted in a 2016 murder in the southern Aroostook County town of Sherman.
The Maine Supreme Court last year overturned the murder conviction against 25-year-old Marcus Asante of Fitchburg, Mass. Asante had been found guilty of shooting 31-year-old Douglas Morin, Jr. during an apparent drug deal in Sherman in October 2016. He was tried in Aroostook County Superior Court in Houlton and sentenced to 35 years in prison for murder and robbery.
During the trial, state prosecutors argued Asante and Morin's cousin, Tia Ludwick, made a plan to rob Morin as they arranged to buy 10 pounds of marijuana from him. Asante testified that wasn't how it happened and that Morin pulled out a gun after the drug deal was called off.
Detectives said Morin was shot nine times as he sat in his Lincoln Town Car on PD Road in Sherman.
The Attorney General's office said the marijuana that was stolen from Morin was discovered in an apartment Asante apparently shared with Ludwick. Prosecutors told the court that the gun used in the murder was found in a closet in the apartment.
In overturning Asante's conviction, the state supreme court ruled that a judge made mistakes in instructions to jurors, allowing the jury to reach “a verdict based on impermissible criteria.” The court said there was no evidence Asante had intentionally planned to inflict bodily harm against Morin.
It was first murder conviction to be set aside in more than a decade in Maine.