AUBURN — A judge has rejected a bid by a local defendant who sought to have evidence that was collected through search warrants disallowed at trial.

Abdikadir Nur Lewiston Police Department photo

Abdikadir Nur, 21, of Auburn is charged with intentional or knowing murder, stemming from the fatal shooting of Hassan Hassan, 18, of Lewiston on River Street on Halloween night of 2020.

In a motion filed by Nur’s lawyer, Verne Paradie, the defendant claimed affidavits filed by prosecutors supporting search warrant requests for cellphone and social media records left out significant facts favorable to the defense. Had those facts been included in the affidavits, the defense argued, there would not have been probable cause to allow police to execute the searches.

At a hearing last week at Androscoggin County Superior Court, Justice Harold Stewart II reviewed evidence and listened to arguments in favor and against the defense’s motion.

After reviewing the evidence and arguments, Stewart issued an order Tuesday concluding statements in the affidavits filed by police “are not inaccurate” and “clearly provide probable cause” supporting the search warrants.

In his motion, Nur claimed police intentionally or knowingly misstated the facts or recklessly disregarded the truth by failing to include a number of details that would have caused a judge to decline the warrant request, Stewart wrote in his order.

Of the details Nur claimed were missing from the affidavits, Stewart wrote he agreed the one detail that should have been included was an eyewitnesses statement that when she first saw Nur on the night of the shooting, he had been wearing a mask.

“This is a detail that ought to have been included in the affidavits,” Stewart wrote. “But given that (the eyewitness) unequivocally told the detectives that she saw Nur, that she could identify him with or without a mask and that his mask fell off, the court does not find this omission to be either an intentional or knowing misstatement, nor a statement made with reckless disregard for the truth.”

Stewart wrote that the omission had, at best, been made “negligently, likely due to haste.”

But even if it had been made intentionally or knowingly, “a fair probability still exists that (the eyewitness) saw and identified Nur as the shooter and probable cause to issue the search warrant remains.”

If convicted of the charge, Nur faces 25 years to life in prison.

Nur, who has denied the charge, is being held without bail pending trial.

The eyewitness told police she was in a vehicle Halloween night and saw Nur shoot Hassan.

Paradie told the judge last week the eyewitness’ statements were not only inconsistent with other witness statements and evidence gathered at the scene, but were also evasive.

Paradie argued the affidavits supporting the search warrant should have included those contradictory statements and evidence.

“If all of these inconsistencies and inaccuracies are put in the totality of circumstances, it paints a different picture of (the eyewitness’) story,” Paradie said.

On Tuesday, Paradie reacted to Stewart’s denial of Nur’s motion.

“Obviously, we are disappointed with the decision, but the search warrant did not lead to the discovery of anything of significance to this case, in any event,” he said. “Mr. Nur has been excluded as a potential DNA donor from the black clothing that the shooter was wearing and that was located in the dumpster.”

Paradie said a jury would have to find a much higher standard of proof that his client was guilty of the charge at trial than was needed for the search warrant.

“Probable cause is a much lower standard of proof,” Paradie said, “than beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.