AUBURN — The mother of a Lewiston woman who was fatally shot in 2020 testified Monday she saw Jaquille J. Coleman pointing a gun out of the window of his car in the direction of her daughter as he fired it.

A photo of Natasha Morgan shared on Facebook by her family. Morgan was killed in Lewiston in 2020. Submitted photo

Liza Morgan said under oath in an Androscoggin County Superior Court room that she and her daughter, 19-year-old Natasha Morgan, had returned to the mother’s Scribner Boulevard home in Lewiston after work on Aug. 21, 2020, to pick up 1-year-old Valentina, the daughter of Coleman and the younger Morgan.

Liza Morgan said she had been waiting in her car for more than a half-hour with Valentina while Coleman and her daughter stood nearby in the driveway engaged in conversation.

The couple had become estranged and Coleman was eager to reconcile.

Liza Morgan said she heard a pop and turned in the direction of the sound.

Jaquille Coleman looks behind him in the courtroom Monday at Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn. Coleman is charged with the intentional or knowing murder of 19-year-old Natasha Morgan on Aug. 21, 2020. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

She saw Coleman in the driver’s seat of the car that was parked next to hers.


His arm was extended out of the window in the direction of the rear of the cars and he was firing a gun towards where Natasha Morgan had been standing during their conversation, her mother said.

Liza Morgan said heard three more pops from his gun, then bolted from the driver’s seat of her car to where her daughter was lying on the driveway on her side, she said.

“I was in shock,” she said.

“I started to charge him. By the time I got to the back (driver’s) side window of the car, he had pulled the gun on me.” she said.

“I ducked and turned,” she said.

Coleman fled in the car Liza Morgan had earlier purchased for her daughter and Coleman when they had been together.


Liza Morgan said she screamed.

“I didn’t know what to do,” she said.

She rolled her daughter over in an effort to see where she was shot and saw four bullet wounds.

Morgan called 911 but, still in shock, was unable to speak.

The baby, who was still in the front passenger seat, was screaming, Liza Morgan said.

She reached for her daughter hoping to feel a pulse.


“Is the man you know as Chino, who shot Natasha, here in the courtroom?” Assistant Attorney General Megan Elam asked.

“He is,” Liza Morgan said, and pointed to Coleman, who was seated at the defense table, dressed in a blue suit.

Defense attorney Verne Paradie cross-examined Morgan, asking her whether Coleman and her daughter had raised their voices during their conversation in the driveway.

“No,” Morgan said.

Paradie asked whether Morgan saw Coleman pull the gun to shoot her daughter.

She said she hadn’t.


Paradie showed Morgan a Facebook message where she had said Coleman had run away with his “side bitch.”

Morgan said she hadn’t remembered making that comment.

She said Coleman had been in a relationship with two women, including her daughter.

When Coleman was apprehended five days later in Mississippi, he was found with his girlfriend, Emily Staples.

Coleman is charged with intentional or knowing murder of Morgan, a crime punishable by 25 years to life in prison.

Monday was the first day of his trial, which is expected to last a week.


Elam told Justice Thomas McKeon before the jury was seated that she had offered Coleman a maximum sentence of 55 years in prison if he were to plead guilty to the charge. He would be allowed to argue for a shorter sentence.

She said she believed the crime was punishable under Maine law by a life sentence because she concluded the elements required to impose such a sentence were present in the case.

Paradie said his client had declined the offer.

After Valentina was born, Natasha Morgan had earned her GED then received her certification as a certified nursing assistant, a stepping stone to becoming a nurse midwife, her mother said.

She and her mother, who is a CNA med tech, worked at an Auburn nursing home and had been returning from work when Natasha Morgan was fatally shot.

Coleman had picked up Valentina from daycare that day and had brought her to Scribner Boulevard to hand off to Natasha.


During opening statements, Elam told the jury that by August of 2020, Natasha Morgan had become afraid of Coleman.

Because of that fear, a friend of hers had arranged a way that Morgan could signal to her friend that she needed help.

“In the last few days of her life, she told the defendant that she was leaving him,” Elam said.

“But Coleman did not want to let her go,” Elam said. “He begged her not to leave him. He promised to change.”

The night before she was killed, Coleman had visited Liza Morgan’s home twice, asking for Natasha Morgan. He went to her grandmother’s home, where she was staying, but she told her grandmother not to let Coleman into the house.

She agreed the next day to let Coleman pick up their baby from daycare and meet in person at Scribner Boulevard where Morgan would take custody of their daughter.


Two of the bullet casings were found in the driveway and two were found in or on the car Coleman was driving.

Liza Morgan’s car had two bullet holes in it.

Verne Paradie, attorney for Jaquille Coleman, brings an armload of materials into the Androscoggin County Superior Court Monday in preparation for trial. Coleman is charged with the intentional or knowing murder of 19-year-old Natasha Morgan on Aug. 21, 2020. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

No gun was recovered, Elam said.

In his opening remarks, Paradie told the jury that Coleman had no motive to harm Natasha Morgan.

Coleman hadn’t made any threats. He hadn’t indicated he was jealous, Paradie said.

He urged the jurors to focus on the facts, evidence presented during the trial, and not the theory of the case offered by Elam or himself.

Paradie asked the 11 men and four women on the jury to set aside their sympathy for the victim and her family over the “tragic event,” so as not to skew their objectivity.

Elam told the jury that, under Maine law, neither motive nor premeditation needs to be proven to convict someone of murder.

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