Emmanuel Nkurunziza, 18, who is charged with manslaughter in the 2018 death of Donald Giusti, 38, of Lewiston, attends a bail hearing in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn on Friday with his interpreter, Jocelyne Ininahazwe, and attorney Allan Lobozzo. A judge allowed Nkurunziza to live with his parents, who recently moved from Lewiston to Biddeford. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — A judge on Friday allowed a Lewiston teen charged with manslaughter in Donald Giusti’s death last year to again live with his parents, who recently moved from Lewiston to Biddeford.

Emmanuel Nkurunziza, 18, was 17 when he was arrested by state police April 11 in Limestone. Last month, a judge ordered he be bound over from juvenile court and be tried as an adult.

Nkurunziza had been staying in a Brunswick home with church friends of his family, but the friends were no longer able to keep him due to unrelated family circumstances, his attorney, Allan Lobozzo, told the judge Friday.

Nkurunziza’s parents had lived in downtown Lewiston close to Giusti’s family. A juvenile court judge had been reluctant to release the teen into his parents’ custody at that location, citing concerns for his and the community’s safety.

On Friday, Justice Michaela Murphy presided over Nkuruniziza’s bail hearing in Androscoggin County Superior Court, ordering that he may live with his parents in an apartment in Biddeford where he must continue to be supervised by an independent agency, wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and be confined to house arrest.

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zaniea said she expected to present Nkurunziza’s case to a grand jury in November. If the grand jury indicts him on the manslaughter charge, Nkurunziza would be arraigned and his bail would be revisited.


Lobozzo had urged the judge to allow Nkurunziza to leave his home for work, educational pursuits and programs. He also sought to have the judge drop the requirement that Nkurunziza be electronically monitored.

But Zainea argued that the monitoring should continue to keep a check on Nkurunziza’s whereabouts.

Murphy said Nkurunziza would continue to be free on $500 cash bail with supervised release and must abide by conditions, including no contact with more than a dozen people, largely co-defendants and the victim’s family.

Nkurunziza may only be in Lewiston for court appearances and to meet with his lawyers and therapist. He is prohibited from accessing social media and may be searched for electronic devices.

Before living with the Brunswick family, Nkurunziza had been detained at Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland since his arrest. He was charged with assault there and moved to Androscoggin County Jail, having turned 18 in the meantime.

Also on Friday, Murphy signed off on letting Auburn attorney Jesse Ian Archer join the defense team.

An 8th District Court judge decided last month that there was probable cause that Nkurunziza had committed manslaughter when he allegedly threw a rock that hit Giusti, 38, of Lewiston, in the head on Knox Street on the night of June 12, 2018. He died three days later from blunt-force trauma to his head and torso, according to a medical examiner.

Witnesses said that about 10:30 p.m. that night, a group of largely Somali youths clashed with more than a dozen white men who had congregated in Kennedy Park.

Manslaughter, a Class A crime, carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison.

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: