Mass. man sentenced to 35 years again after retrial in Aroostook slaying and robbery

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Dec. 1—A Massachusetts man convicted a second time in September of murder and robbery in the 2016 death of an Oakfield man during a marijuana deal was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in prison.

Marcus Asante, 26, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, originally was found guilty of the charges by an Aroostook County jury in November 2018 and received the same sentence imposed Wednesday.

Last year, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court overturned those convictions because of faulty jury instructions and ordered that Asante be retried.

That new trial was held in September in Auburn, at the Androscoggin County Courthouse, 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 testimony at both trials. On Oct. 16, 2016, the two men got into an argument over the deal.

Prosecutors presented evidence 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.

Morin was killed a few weeks before Maine voters narrowly approved recreational marijuana use, though retail pot businesses did not open until last fall due to delays in the rulemaking process.

The second jury 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 had been held without bail while awaiting a new trial.

On Wednesday, prosecutors again recommend a 35-year sentence. Under Maine law, a harsher sentence may not be imposed following a guilty verdict in a retrial.

Asante faced between 25 years and life on the murder charge and up to 30 years in prison on the robbery charge.

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