AUBURN — A judge sentenced a Lewiston man Friday to 47 years in prison for the 2020 murder of a 19-year-old woman who was the mother of his young child.

Jaquille Coleman, 28, was in Androscoggin County Superior Court where family and friends of Natasha Morgan filled the courtroom wearing T-shirts emblazoned with her photo.

Prosecutors argued Coleman should go to prison for life. Defense attorneys asked for 30 years.

Coleman was convicted in November at a jury trial.

Justice Thomas McKeon said that while there was some evidence of premeditation, one of the elements that would allow the judge to impose a life sentence, “I just don’t have enough” evidence to meet that standard.

Coleman has three weeks to file an appeal of his conviction and sentence.


On Aug. 21, 2020, Coleman shot Morgan four times in the driveway of her mother’s home on Scribner Boulevard in Lewiston, just a few feet from where her mother and their 1-year-old baby daughter were sitting in a car, according to evidence presented at trial.

A doctor at the Maine Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Morgan died from multiple gunshot wounds to the torso.

Morgan’s mother, Liza, testified at Coleman’s trial in November.

Liza Morgan, mother of Natasha Morgan, speaks Friday in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn at the sentencing of Jaquille Coleman, who was convicted of killing Morgan, his ex-girlfriend, in 2020 in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

On Friday, she spoke of the anguish she suffered on the day her daughter was murdered, and since.

“Every day, I struggle to focus on work,” she said. “I have cried myself to sleep at night and have felt an increased fear and worry for the safety of our family. The trauma makes me jump at loud sounds and I have nightmares at times.”

Morgan said her granddaughter, Valentina, “lost the two most important people in her life that day,” her mother, who was murdered by her father, and her father who will be in prison for most of his life.


“My heart aches for the terrible burden of the trauma Valentina will carry. The very knowledge of it will be traumatic and hurtful for her,” Morgan said.

Natasha Morgan’s sister, Tamara Morgan, said her sister will never be able to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse and midwife and watch her daughter grow into an adult.

She called Coleman a monster with no care or guilt.

“My heart will never heal from this tragedy. The way she went out should never have happened,” Tamara Morgan said.

Natasha Morgan’s stepfather, Tim Boutin, called Coleman a “hideous, disgusting monster, who snuffed out a beautiful light in an otherwise dark world. The hottest places in hell are reserved for monsters like you.”

Boutin added, “The defendant, being the coward that he is, shot a 19-year-old mother in the back. He could have hit Valentina, who was sitting in the front seat. And he did this all in front of Natasha’s mother. And then he ran, the pure definition of a coward.


“I hope the prison system makes every day of the defendant’s life a living hell, like he’s done to ours,” Boutin said.

Coleman gave a statement Friday but stopped short of admitting responsibility for killing Morgan.

“I would like to take this time to apologize to those of whom were affected by the loss of Natasha,” he said. “I failed to protect the one person who meant the most. The loss of Natasha has not only affected both of our families, but the community as a whole.”

Coleman said Morgan had tried to better herself for the sake of her daughter.

“She did not deserve to die in the prime years of her life,” he said. “Instead, she deserved to die comfortably of old age surrounded by loved ones.”

Assistant Attorney General Megan Elam pointed out to the judge that Coleman made only a passing reference to his own daughter in his address to the court.


“I think that’s an insight into who he is,” she said. “He expressed no sadness for Valentina, no acceptance of responsibility for his role in the tragedy that her life has become.”

Shortly before imposing his sentence, McKeon said he failed to hear Coleman express “genuine remorse” for his conduct.

State Assistant Attorney General Meg Elam makes her case Friday in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn for a life sentence for Jaquille Coleman of Lewiston. He was convicted in the 2020 murder of his ex-girlfriend, Natasha Morgan, who was the mother of their young child. Coleman looks at Elam while seated between his defense attorneys. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Defense attorney Paul Corey told the judge that Coleman experienced a traumatic childhood. His mother died when he was young and he lived with an uncle before living on the streets in impoverished housing projects in Mobile, Alabama.

“When we come from places free of violent crime and places of stability, it’s easy to look at serious violent crime and dismiss it as purely heinous,” Corey said. “But for people for whom violence is normalized, violence can become the answer.”

Despite his disadvantaged upbringing, Coleman was somehow able to maintain employment and pursue an education, Corey said.

McKeon ordered Coleman to pay $5,150 to the victim’s compensation fund.


Morgan’s mother, Liza, testified at trial that she had driven her daughter to her home on Scribner Boulevard after work to pick up Morgan’s daughter, Valentina.

Tim Boutin, stepfather of murder victim Natasha Morgan, reads a statement Friday in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn during the sentencing of Natasha’s ex-boyfriend, Jaquille Coleman of Lewiston. Boutin recounted how Natasha had asked him to wait inside the house while Natasha spoke to Coleman in driveway the day he shot her. He told Coleman he hoped he would get everything he deserved during his 47 years in prison. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Natasha Morgan had agreed to let Coleman pick up their daughter from day care and bring her to the house for the exchange.

With his car parked next to Liza Morgan’s in her driveway, Natasha Morgan and Coleman talked while standing in the driveway for more than half an hour, while Liza Morgan sat in her car with Valentina.

Then she heard a pop, turned in the direction of the sound, and saw Coleman sitting in the driver’s seat of his car, the window down, leaning out of his car, his arm extended, holding a gun and firing it three more times in the direction of where her daughter had been standing, Liza Morgan testified.

She jumped from her car, repeatedly yelling, “He shot her.”

Liza Morgan sprinted to where her daughter was lying on the ground on her side.


She started to charge Coleman, who then pulled the gun on her, she said. She ducked and turned. Coleman fled the scene in his car, she testified.

Two shell casings were recovered at the scene. One of the other casings was later found in the cup holder of Coleman’s car, the other at the base of the windshield where the wipers rest.

All of the casings and bullets that were recovered matched a single gun, Elam said at trial.

The defense had sought to introduce an alternative suspect, Coleman’s girlfriend, Emily Staples. A judge wouldn’t allow him to present evidence at trial to support that theory.

She and Coleman were found together in Mississippi five days after the shooting.

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