Bail hearing set for Lewiston man in murder case

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AUBURN — A Lewiston man charged with murder in the 2013 stabbing and strangulation death of Romeo Parent is expected to argue that he be allowed bail at a hearing on Wednesday.

William True, 21, is scheduled for trial in December. He was indicted in July on the first day of testimony in the murder trial of Michael McNaughton of Lewiston, who was convicted in July of intentionally or knowingly killing Parent. True also has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been held without bail.

True had been charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution in the case and was set to be a co-defendant at McNaughton’s trial. But a key witness for the state, Nathan Morton, 25, of Greene, implicated True in Parent’s murder last spring. The Maine Attorney General’s Office sought an indictment of True at a seating of an Androscoggin County grand jury the first week of July.

True’s attorney, James Howaniec, is expected to call Morton as a witness at Wednesday’s bail hearing.

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Morton agreed to plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit intentional murder and hindering apprehension in exchange for a sentence of 20 years in prison, with half of that time suspended.

He admitted to driving Parent and McNaughton to a remote wooded area in Greene, where Parent was killed in April 2013. Morton said he returned to the scene the next day with McNaughton to help strip Parent’s body and move it to Jug Stream in Monmouth, where it was later found by police.

Since Morton’s plea deal, he provided investigators with additional information implicating True in Parent’s death.

Police said the day after Parent’s death, True’s friend, Eric Leighton, told them that True “may have killed their mutual friend (Parent.)” Leighton also said that True threatened to “kill him, too,” if he told police.

Leighton told police that True had just climbed up the back fire escape to Leighton’s apartment, asking if he had a large duffel bag. Leighton gave True two large trash bags and asked why True needed the bags.

True “broke down and became very emotional, claiming that he had killed” Parent, Leighton told police. “True went on to tell Leighton that if he called the police, True would kill him, too,” police wrote in an affidavit.

Leighton also told police that True “appeared to be abnormally clean, describing his prior appearance to always be dirty and unclean,” according to the police affidavit.

Leighton told police that, in addition to wearing clean clothes, “True had shaved his head.”

During a later interview with a local police detective, Leighton said True and Parent had been charged earlier in a burglary. Parent had apparently confessed to police during an interview, implicating True. Parent had received a summons and True had been arrested, Leighton said. Leighton told police that True was “looking to hurt Parent and ‘kick his ass’ for implicating him.”

cwilliams@sunjournal.com

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