AUBURN — A Lewiston man pleaded not guilty to murder Wednesday in the killing of his pregnant girlfriend, who police said was intentionally run down while walking on a Lewiston street.
Authorities captured Evaristo Antonio De Deus, 33, of 37 Union St. in New York last month 10 minutes before his flight was due to depart JFK Airport.
Since his extradition to Maine, he has been held without bail at Androscoggin County Jail.
An Androscoggin County grand jury indicted Deus last week on a charge of intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder, a charge punishable by 25 years to life in prison.
Deus, speaking through a French interpreter, entered his plea in Androscoggin County Superior Court.
Police said Deus intentionally struck his girlfriend, Laudrinha Kubeloso, 32, of 78 College St., from behind with his vehicle on Lewiston’s Howe Street on Sept. 23. She was four months pregnant.
Police later recovered Deus’ blue 2001 Suzuki SUV in a parking lot at the University of New England in Portland.
Police found two witnesses to testify that they saw a man matching Deus’ description hitting Kubeloso and leaving her in the street.
Lewiston police said local detectives tracked Deus’ movements after the hit-and-run incident and were eventually informed that he had been booked on a 9:25 a.m. flight out of JFK Airport in New York City the day after Kubeloso’s death.
Once police in Lewiston learned that Deus had a plane ticket, they contacted the New York Port Authority for assistance.
Deus was arrested on a murder warrant and waived extradition to Maine. Maine detectives escorted him to the Androscoggin County Jail.
Prosecutors asked a judge that the affidavit supporting Deus’ arrest be impounded pending his indictment.
That affidavit was unsealed on Wednesday.
In it, Maine State Police Detective Christopher Farley wrote that an eyewitness to the murder, Joshua Crenshaw, told police he was on the second-floor balcony of his home at 127 Howe St. at 3 p.m. when he heard a “loud thud.” He looked down the street and saw a blue SUV hit a woman, “run her over and continue driving.”
Crenshaw said the driver was a black man wearing a blue shirt.
A second witness, Joshua Burgess, told police he was on the second-floor balcony of the same building smoking a cigarette when he heard what sounded like a vehicle running over an empty box. He looked in that direction to see a dark blue SUV driving over an object that appeared to be a woman lying motionless in the street.
Burgess told police the driver was a black man wearing a blue shirt.
Police recovered the passenger side of the headlight framing of the vehicle, which matched the make, model and color of the vehicle registered to Deus.
Police learned from Wal-Mart in Auburn, where Deus worked, that he had clocked out of work at 1:32 p.m. that day. He was seen leaving the parking lot at 2:04 p.m., wearing a blue shirt and driving his dark blue Suzuki Grand Vitara SUV.
Deus stopped by Longley Elementary School to speak to the coordinator of Lewiston Adult Education about rearranging his class schedule, police said.
At 3:01 p.m., his vehicle is seen on surveillance cameras turning onto Howe Street.
The next morning, Portland police told Farley that Deus’ vehicle was parked at the University of New England parking lot, its front passenger side damaged. Its license plates had been removed.
At about 9:04 a.m., Deus was found at JFK Airport by U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents. He was attempting to board a flight to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He had a boarding pass, a U.S. visa and a Maine Identification Card. He also had an Amtrak ticket from Boston to New York, an application for a title to the SUV he was driving and its keys.
Deus’ attorney, Justin Leary, requested a probable cause and bail hearing, which will be scheduled for sometime after his arraignment.
Kubeloso, who was from Angola, had been a volunteer at Hope House on College Street in Lewiston and had been enrolled in adult education classes. She had sought asylum in the U.S. seven months earlier.
Deus had been living in Lewiston for less than a year, most recently on Union Street.
According to the affidavit, the couple had been dating for about four months, but had had domestic problems for months. They had split up and had barely spoken for the three weeks before Kubeloso’s death.