A Massachusetts man died from injuries sustained during a fight in McDonald’s parking lot on Center Street in Auburn on Wednesday night. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

AUBURN — Police charged a Lewiston man Thursday morning with killing a Massachusetts man during an altercation in the McDonald’s parking lot Wednesday night.

Trai M. Larue Maine State Police photo

Trai M. Larue, 22, was charged with murder in the death Roger I. Cornell, 21, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, in the restaurant’s parking lot at 138 Center St., according to a spokeswoman for the Maine State Police.

Cornell’s body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta for an autopsy Thursday.

Larue was taken to Androscoggin County Jail.

He is expected to have an initial court appearance Friday afternoon in 8th District Court in Lewiston. The court has appointed a lawyer to defend him.

Lewiston police assisted in the investigation and located Larue on Thursday morning.

At a news conference, state police Lt. Mark Holmquist told reporters the autopsy should reveal what weapons were involved in the altercation that caused Cornell’s death.

He said the victim and suspect had known each other.

Leading up to the altercation, Cornell had been walking along the side of the street; Larue and others were in a vehicle.

“The people in the car saw it as an opportunity to confront” Cornell, Holmquist said.

He said police have identified everyone involved in the incident and are still exploring what led to the confrontation. Other charges may be coming, he said.

Two people called 911: a customer at the restaurant and a pedestrian, he said. It was reported as a “fight in progress,” local police Chief Jason Moen said.

The State Police Major Crimes South unit was called to assist Auburn police in the investigation. Lewiston police also assisted.

The initial call, which came about 8:37 p.m. Wednesday, reported a man in his early 20s had been injured after an altercation, according to MSP spokeswoman Katharine England. Cornell was critically injured during the altercation, said Moen, who added that responding officers administered first aid.

Cornell was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he later died.

According to England, before police arrived, multiple people had fled the scene in a vehicle.

Moen said the incident was “not a random act. And the public’s safety was never in jeopardy”

State Police and Auburn Police detectives are conducting interviews to get more information about the incident.

Anyone with information should call the Auburn Police Department at 207-333-6650.

 

A Massachusetts man died from injuries sustained during a fight in McDonald’s parking lot on Center Street in Auburn on Wednesday night. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal


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