Jurors hear victim’s blood found on defendant’s pants

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AUBURN — Jurors learned Friday that Romeo Parent’s blood was found on a pair of jeans worn by William True.

True, 21, of Lewiston, is the second man to be tried for murder in Parent’s death. Michael McNaughton, 27, was convicted by a jury in July.

True’s trial in Androscoggin County Superior Court entered its eighth day Friday as the jury heard from a pair of Maine State Police detectives, a crime lab chemist and a DNA analyst.

Stephen Shargo, a chemist with the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory, said four spots on a pair of jeans taken from True by police tested positive for blood.

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DNA analyst Jennifer Sabean testified later that three of the four spots were True’s blood, but the fourth was Parent’s.

On cross-examination by True’s defense attorney, James Howaniec, Shargo confirmed the stains on True’s jeans appeared to be blood transfer stains and not blood spatter stains. The testimony could be critical as other witnesses have testified that True kicked and punched Parent the night he died.

The state’s prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Deborah Cashman, asked Shargo if spatter blood could appear as a transfer stain if it were smeared after the fact. Shargo said that was possible.

Detectives John Hainey and Randall Keaton testified about evidence they collected and interviews they conducted with suspects, including True and McNaughton.  

McNaughton was found guilty of choking and stabbing Parent to death in a wooded area off South Mountain Road in Greene in April 2013.

During McNaughton’s trial, it was revealed that a homemade garrote, which McNaughton called “chokey” and a small screwdriver he called “pokey” were used in the killing. Sabean confirmed Friday that DNA found on the screwdriver, which was found by detectives at the scene in Greene, belonged to Parent.

Parent’s stripped body was found in Jug Stream in Monmouth, two days after he was killed.

True faces murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges. Prosecutors maintain he was present when Parent was killed and later helped move Parent’s body from Greene to Monmouth.

True was indicted by an Androscoggin County grand jury just as McNaughton went on trial in July.

Meanwhile, Nathan Morton, 25, of Greene, implicated True in the crime after Morton agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and hindering apprehension in a deal with prosecutors. Morton testified against both McNaughton and True in exchange for a 20-year prison sentence with all but 10 years suspended.

Morton has testified that he drove True, McNaughton and Parent to the murder scene in Greene and that he saw True near Parent’s lifeless body as McNaughton used a flashlight application on Morton’s mobile phone to search unsuccessfully for the screwdriver.

During McNaughton’s trial, witnesses testified that Parent had been marked for punishment by McNaughton after he told police about a burglary he and True committed. True ended up going to jail for the crime, while Parent remained free. Witnesses in McNaughton’s trial said word on the street about those who snitch or provide information to police was that “snitches get stitches” or “bats for rats.” 

Morton also has testified that he returned to the murder scene the next day with McNaughton and True, who went into the woods and brought Parent’s body back to load into Morton’s trunk.

Earlier this week, another witness testified that True had come to his apartment looking for a duffel bag, but all the witness had was contractor-sized garbage bags. 

Those trash bags were later found at Jug Stream with Parent’s body, according to the crime lab analysts, which matched them to bags still at the apartment.

True’s trial is expected to continue Monday at 8:30 a.m.

sthistle@sunjournal.com

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