AUBURN — A Lewiston man pleaded guilty to murder Friday in the 2014 killing of his pregnant ex-girlfriend in a hit-and-run.

At a December sentencing on the charge, prosecutors are expected to argue that Evaristo De Deus, 35, of 37 Union St., should be imprisoned for 45 years, a cap that was reached in a plea agreement last week.

Deus’ attorney, Henry Griffin, is expected to argue for a lesser period of incarceration.

Deus, who, in his last court appearance, was seeking to represent himself, agreed to have Griffin act as his legal counsel.

A trial was expected next spring. But, following a settlement conference with a Maine Superior Court judge, Deus accepted an offer from prosecutors aimed at limiting his possible prison sentence to 45 years.

In Maine, murder is punishable by 25 years to life in prison.

Deus appeared Friday in Androscoggin County Superior Court with an interpreter who translated from English to Lingala, Deus’ native language. He is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

By pleading guilty to a murder charge, Deus will be subject to possible deportation.

Police said Deus intentionally struck Laudrinha Kubeloso, 32, of 78 College St., Lewiston, from behind with his Suzuki SUV while she was walking on Howe Street in Lewiston on Sept. 23, 2014. She was four months pregnant.

She died of blunt force trauma to the head and torso.

Authorities captured Deus in New York 10 minutes before his flight was due to depart JFK airport for Haiti. Police later recovered Deus’ vehicle in a parking lot at the University of New England in Portland, its license plates missing and its front passenger side damaged.

He has been held without bail since.

According to a police affidavit, an eyewitness to the murder said 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.” That witness said the driver was a black man wearing a blue shirt.

A second witness 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. That witness also said 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. At 3:01 p.m., his vehicle is seen on surveillance cameras turning onto Howe Street.

Investigators said tire tracks at the scene showed the SUV had swerved to the right where Kubeloso had been walking.

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 one year.

According to the police report, 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 three weeks before Kubeloso’s death.

Witnesses said Deus had wanted Kubeloso to return to him property he had given her. He reportedly said he would “bury her” if she didn’t.

Deus said he took issue with some of the evidence Assistant Attorney General Meg Elam said she would have presented had the case gone to trial. He said that at his December sentencing he plans to make known what those issues are.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: