Both suspects have been at the Androscoggin County Jail since their March arrests.

LEWISTON – Two men accused of killing an 82-year-old man and then stuffing him into the trunk of his car last month were indicted Tuesday on murder charges.

Shaun M. Tuttle, 21, of 35 Wood St. and David R. Lakin, 22, of 164 Bartlett St., each were charged by the grand jury with intentional and depraved indifference murder.

The two men are accused in the death of James McManus, who was beaten, strangled with a rope and run over with his own car before he was stuffed into the vehicle trunk, according to police.

McManus’ body was found in the trunk of his Buick March 10. Investigators said it was Tuttle who called police to report they would find a body inside the trunk.

Both suspects were arrested the day after the body was discovered. In an earlier court hearing, each blamed the other for the death of McManus, who was killed after riding with the two men early March 10 to a remote road in Turner.

Both men claimed to have been passed out inside the car while the other beat and strangled McManus.

While McManus was unconscious, one of the suspects ran over the 82-year-old’s head, according to the court affidavit.

Later, with the body in the trunk, the two men drove back to Lewiston, bought cigarettes at a store and went to a car wash to clean the outside of the Buick, according to Tuttle’s statement to police.

He said the two men left the car on Horton Street at Lakin’s instruction and then went their separate ways. Tuttle told police he took a shower and then called 911 to report that an old man’s body would be found in the trunk of his car.

Later, police took Tuttle to Horton Street and he pointed out the vehicle that was used in the slaying, police said.

Police said both suspects had blood on their clothing when they were first questioned by Lewiston and Maine State police. What was not clear in the court document was the motive that either or both suspects may have had for killing McManus.

Tuttle and Lakin claimed they had met each other at a bar on lower Sabattus Street just hours before the slaying. Lakin knew McManus, though it appeared Tuttle did not.

Those who knew McManus and his family said there was likely very little money to be stolen.

A successful salesman more than a decade ago, McManus had experienced financial ruin shortly after the death of his wife from cancer.

Some acquaintances who no longer live in the area said McManus began loaning money to young people and then socializing with them. He lost his house and moved to Old Carriage Estates in Auburn, where he was frequently visited by police investigating reports of loud music, teenage drinking and prostitution.

After that, McManus moved to downtown Lewiston and was living at 18 Blake St. at the time of his death.

The indictment handed up Tuesday clears the way for the state to try Tuttle and Lakin on murder charges. At an earlier court hearing, Tuttle had argued that there was not enough evidence against him to keep him locked up.

Both suspects have remained at the Androscoggin County Jail since their arrests.

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