ROCKLAND — A 49-year-old Maine State Prison inmate pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to charges that he was involved in the 2011 beating death of convicted murderer Lloyd Millett formerly of Turner.

Franklin Higgins entered not guilty pleas before Justice Jeffrey Hjelm in Knox County Superior Court to two counts of aggravated attempted murder.

Higgins was originally indicted in October on a charge of murder in connection to the death of fellow prisoner Lloyd Millett. Assistant Maine Attorney General Leane Zainea noted at a hearing in March that an autopsy showed there may have been another contributing cause to Millett’s death so the revised indictment was sought.

Millett was serving a life sentence for murdering two women in 1995. He killed Canton resident 39-year-old Terrie Lizotte in Turner, and later murdered 33-year-old Rachelle Anne Williams, of Gorham, N.H., in Lewiston. He committed the murders over a weekend. He worked as a farmhand in Turner.

Millett, 51, died June 7 at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor after being assaulted May 24 at the prison.

The April indictment said Higgins struck Millett in the head with a pipe clamp and this was a substantial step toward committing murder.

Higgins made no other comments during his Monday arraignment. He was brought into court in shackles and handcuffs, wearing orange prison garb.

Justice Hjelm gave attorneys 60 days to file pretrial motions.

Higgins is represented by attorney Philip Cohen of Waldoboro.

Higgins remains at the state prison where he is serving a 45-year prison sentence for the 1999 killing of Katherine Poor inside her Kenduskeag home.

According to Sun Journal archives, Williams’ body was found Nov. 6, 1995, in a field near the Ramada Inn in Lewiston, where she was attending a business meeting. She was last seen alive in a hotel lounge but disappeared after she left to go to a restroom and never returned. Williams’ raped and strangled body was found the next day.

Millett met his other victim, Lizotte, at a Turner nightclub on Nov. 3, 1995. Lizotte’s body was found in the closet of the trailer where Millett lived on the farm. Lizotte’s body was found by Millett’s ex-girlfriend, who recently had moved out of his home but returned to retrieve her belongings.

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