CAMBRIDGE — A Detroit man is accused of murdering his father Thursday night in this small Somerset County town.

Alfred Licata, 63, was found dead on a lawn near his home on Ham Hill Road, and one of his sons, Angelo V. Licata, 33, was arrested early Friday on a murder charge.

The victim’s wife told police she heard a commotion in her home, and when she went downstairs she saw blood. Her son was later ordered held at Somerset County Jail in East Madison without bail.

Somerset County Sheriff’s Office deputies were first on scene after receiving a call from the victim’s wife, Arlene Licata, at 9:17 p.m. Thursday.

She told police she heard banging and yelling below her while she was upstairs. When she went downstairs, blood covered the kitchen, according to the arrest affidavit filed in Somerset County Superior Court. She went to a neighbor’s house to call 911.

Deputies found Alfred Licata’s body on the lawn about 10 feet from another neighbor’s house, near a small flower patch. It appears as if he died from blunt force trauma to the head, according to court records, although the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner did not release the cause of death Friday.

The house at 14 Ham Hill Road is in a quiet, residential area with some vacant homes. Three tall trees stand in front of the home’s blue door. Small police evidence flags on Friday marked the place on the grass where Alfred Licata was found.

“Everybody is very upset about it because Cambridge is a very small town, and everybody is so wonderful,” said Brenda DiMeo, one of the owners of Cambridge General Store, less than a quarter mile from the scene. The town has a population of about 530, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Deputies called Maine State Police once they discovered the death.

A neighbor went to the white colonial-style home around the same time as the 911 call and was met by a young man who said the neighbor should not go inside, according to court documents.

Maine State Police Detective Christopher Tremblay was told by a Waterville friend of Angelo Licata that Licata came to his house around 10:30 or 11 p.m. Thursday, crying, and said he had killed his father, the court papers state.

Arlene Licata told police her son had been to their home, but she thought he left after she went upstairs. She saw his vehicle still in the driveway, however, when she went to get help, the affidavit states.

Arthur Watson, of Cambridge, who was at his mother’s home next door to the Licata’s on Thursday night, said Friday the last time he saw Alfred Licata was around 4 p.m. Thursday when they were both outside and they chatted briefly about the health of Watson’s mother.

Then, around 8:40 p.m., Watson stepped outside to catch the cool air and saw Arlene and Angelo Licata on their small deck.

“They were out there just talking,” he said.

Nothing seemed amiss, he said.

Then between 9:20 and 9:30 p.m., he said, “A county deputy came and knocked on the door and said (Alfred Licata) was dead in the back yard,” Watson said.

Alfred Licata died on Watson’s mother’s property, inches from her dirt driveway.

Watson and his wife, Phyllis, went to bed around 1 a.m., they said. By the time they woke up around 4:30 a.m., police had moved the body.

“It’s kind of eerie because we know everybody. We’re all relieved that Angelo is in custody if he’s the one who did it,” Phyllis Watson said.

Both Phyllis and Arthur Watson described it as a “weird” night. It was hot, and there was no traffic on nearby Route 150, they said.

Perhaps it was because of the air conditioning and fans inside the house, Arthur Watson said, but he never heard noise in the home next door and never heard the deputies arrive.

Alfred and Arlene Licata have four grown sons, the Watsons said. They described them as polite and helpful.

Alfred Licata was a “very pleasant man,” Phyllis Watson said, and Arlene Licata is “the sweetest, caring person that you would meet.”

Angelo Licata was arrested around 4:50 a.m. after he was questioned by detectives at the Waterville Police Department. He went to the station — about an hour’s drive from Cambridge — voluntarily, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

McCausland did not know of a motive for Angelo Licata to kill his father. He also did not release how Alfred Licata died, saying that police were waiting to hear the cause of death from the medical examiner.

Angelo Licata appeared in Skowhegan court via video from the Somerset County Jail on Friday. Judge Susan Sparaco ordered him held without bail during the five-minute proceeding.

Sparaco told Licata that the charge against him carried between 25 years and life in prison. Murder means an intentional or knowing killing. Licata is next scheduled to appear in court Sept. 7.

Licata was convicted earlier this year in Kennebec County Superior Court on two counts of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, and he was fined $1,200 and ordered to pay $330 in restitution, according to court records.

The conviction stemmed from an incident April 1, 2010, in which Licata and another man were charged with illegally possessing prescription drugs and marijuana at a downtown apartment in Oakland, according to a Morning Sentinel story published last year.

He was also convicted of reckless conduct for a 2007 incident in Pittston, in addition to operating while license suspended or revoked and unlawful use of license in 2005 in Farmingdale, according to newspaper archives.

Erin Rhoda — 612-2368

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