PORTLAND — A jury will continue deliberations Thursday in the murder trial of David W. Marble Jr., who is accused of executing two people in Manchester on Christmas Day 2015.

Marble, 32, of Rochester, New York, went on trial in Cumberland County Superior Court last week on two charges of intentional or knowing murder, after the case was moved from Kennebec County following intensive news coverage.

Marble is accused of killing Eric Williams, 35, and Bonnie Royer, 26, both of Augusta, about 3:30 a.m. as they sat in Williams’ Chevrolet Trailblazer on Sanford Road. The prosecution said the deaths were retribution for a burglary of Marble’s apartment.

Marble has been in custody since his arrest Dec. 29, 2015. 

He was previously convicted in New York of robbery and drug possession.

About 20 people — relatives and and friends of the victims — watched closing arguments Wednesday morning, and most remained throughout the afternoon, hoping to hear the verdicts.

However, jurors indicated they would deliberate until 4:40 p.m. They are expected to return at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

In her instructions, Justice Michaela Murphy told jurors they should consider each murder charge separately and return a verdict of guilty if they find Marble was a principal or an accomplice in the slayings based on the evidence presented.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese, in closing arguments, told jurors Marble was “a 29-year-old rapper” who came to Maine a few months before the killings.

Prosecutors say the shooting deaths were revenge for Williams’ role in burglarizing Marble’s apartment on Sewall Street in Augusta while he was on a drug run. A police affidavit said Williams, two other men and a woman — not Royer — stole televisions, backpacks, a gun and drugs from the apartment between 12:30 and 1:15 a.m. Dec. 25, 2015, after learning Marble was being driven to Westbrook.

“The burglary of David Marble’s apartment is the last straw for David Marble. … He’s furious. He’s been broken into,” Marchese said, adding that Marble immediately suspected Williams was responsible.

The prosecutor referred repeatedly to testimony indicating Marble’s cellphone was located that night along a route to and from the Summerhaven gravel pit where the bodies were found, and to testimony by Timothy Bragg, who fingered Marble as the shooter. Bragg said he drove Marble from the scene, and he admitted buying two firearms for Marble, one of which was determined to be the murder weapon.

Marchese said Williams was Marble’s “center guy,” someone who supplied him with weed. But Marble also told detectives that Williams “was messing with people — in other words, shorting them or skimming product off the top.”

Marchese said Marble shot each victim once, got into the back seat of Bragg’s vehicle and was driven off briefly before telling Bragg he thought he dropped his cellphone.

Marchese said Marble shot Royer again on that brief return visit.

The medical examiner testified that Williams was shot once and Royer twice.

Marble did not testify.

His attorney, Jon Gale, told jurors that the state has no forensic evidence tying Marble to the crime.

Gale noted that the murder weapon was never found and that Bragg said Marble threw it into the Kennebec River in Augusta.

Gale also said investigators haven’t located Marble’s fingerprints or DNA in the SUV or his shoe prints in the sand next to Williams’ vehicle. Gale also said investigators focused too soon on Marble as the lone suspect and that Marble wanted to break someone’s jaw rather than kill someone.

He also said Bragg changed the stories he told police, and that police should have focused more on an individual referred to in court only as “Metro,” who had ridden to and from the slaying scene in the front seat of Bragg’s car.

Gale added, “Every single witness who was not working for the government signed an immunity agreement” against prosecution.

In rebuttal, Marchese said, “There is hard evidence in this case that 12 minutes before the 911 call came in, David Marble is texting, saying, ‘I am with Eric.’ They are in the car together.”

She told jurors, “His vigilante justice is murder.”

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