AUGUSTA – A man charged with murder in the stabbing death last year of his roommate pleaded not guilty Friday during a brief hearing in Kennebec County Superior Court.
Michael Thomas Young, 40, of Augusta, was arrested April 5 in Key West, Fla., on a warrant from Maine. Two detectives flew to Florida to bring him back after he waived extradition late last week.
Young, who is being held without bail at Kennebec County jail, is accused of killing David Cox, 46, on June 11 in the Green Street apartment they shared.
Neighbors reported frequently hearing arguments between Cox and Young, who had lived in the apartment for about two years and were described as being in a same-sex relationship.
Attorney Pam Ames was appointed to represent Young, and she met with him at the jail in Augusta Thursday night.
“We plead not guilty to the charge, your honor,” Ames said Friday to Justice Michaela Murphy.
Murphy told Young that if he is convicted on the murder charge, the penalty can be between 25 years to life in prison, with none of that term suspended.
Young, a thin, dark-haired man with a mustache, wore a long-sleeved gray sweatshirt under an orange uniform. He was handcuffed and his legs were in shackles as stood next to his attorney in court. He told the judge that he understood the allegations against him.
The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, asked that Young be held without bail pending a Harnish hearing, a hearing in which the state presents evidence to show why the defendant should continue to be held without bail.
Murphy met briefly with attorneys before setting that hearing for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 26, in Kennebec County Superior Court.
Before leaving the courtroom, Young nodded briefly to two women and a man who were there to watch his arraignment.
One woman, Young’s aunt Diane Pettengill of Augusta, said, “The family is here to love and support him.” She declined to comment further.
Ames also talked briefly to the three in the courtroom.
Neither Ames nor Zainea could provide more details about the case and there was no police affidavit filed with the court outlining the circumstances of the slaying. Ames told the judge she expected to receive discovery materials shortly from the state. Zainea said the prosecution will be handled by Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson.
Authorities said Cox, an Army veteran, was stabbed in the chest, but otherwise have remained tight-lipped.
Police were called to the men’s apartment June 11 by Young, who was interviewed as part of the investigation, and authorities said he was cooperative.
Young was indicted last month by a grand jury in Kennebec County on a charge of intentional or knowing murder or depraved indifference murder, two alternate forms of the same crime, and authorities acted on a tip that he might be in Key West. He was found hiding in a shower at a mobile home park.
Young is facing unrelated charges of failing to pay a fine on convictions for unlawful possession of scheduled drugs and operating without a license, all misdemeanors from Augusta District Court. Those matters were not addressed Friday.
Betty Adams — 621-5631