SKOWHEGAN — The man accused of shooting 60-year-old Everett Cameron as he sat in his pickup truck in Anson two years ago told a judge on Thursday he is not guilty.
Robert L. Nelson, 40, of Anson, entered his plea of not guilty for both charges against him: murder and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
Family of the accused and the victim sat in separate parts of the Somerset County Superior Courtroom on Thursday. Each side declined to talk to reporters after the five-minute arraignment.
Dressed in blue jail-issued clothes, Nelson sat with defense attorney Philip Mohlar and told Judge John Nivison he understood the charges against him, the possible penalties if convicted and his right to a trial and legal representation.
He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of murder. Nelson was indicted and arrested on Sept. 16. Police said he shot Cameron as he sat parked on a small dirt path off Town Farm Road on Oct. 31, 2009.
The other charge, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, claims he was not allowed to have a gun after a vehicle burglary conviction in 1994. The firearm conviction carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea said she will request a hearing to eliminate Nelson’s right to bail, and Mohlar responded he will let the court know when he’s ready for the hearing.
Nivison said all motions are due within 90 days, and after then the court will be better able to schedule a trial. In the meantime, Nelson will be held without bail at Somerset County Jail.
While police have said Cameron and Nelson knew each other, they have not said how.
Cameron’s family said in 2010 they thought his death was connected to the sale of medication he had available because of his lymphoma.
Police and prosecutors have also declined to discuss how many shots were fired, what type of gun was used or any motive for the killing, citing a need to protect the investigation. The official cause of Cameron’s death has also not been released.
Police have filed no affidavit, which shows why someone should be charged with a crime. Instead, a grand jury agreed there was enough evidence to charge Nelson. Unlike a trial, grand jury proceedings are secret.
Maine State Police formally arrested Nelson at Somerset County Jail on Sept. 16. He was already serving a four-month sentence there for violating his probation.
Erin Rhoda — 612-2368