SKOWHEGAN — The families of three Somerset County homicide victims may have closure in their loved ones’ cases by the end of the year.

Judge John Nivison met with attorneys Wednesday morning to set tentative trial dates for three men facing unrelated murder charges.

The cases involve the deaths of Alfred Licata, 63, of Cambridge, in July 2011; Rita St. Peter, 20, of Anson, in July 1980; and Everett Cameron, 60, of Anson, in October 2009.

The first suspect to appear before a jury will be Angelo Licata, 34, of Detroit, who is accused of killing his father, Alfred, outside his parents’ home in Cambridge.

His trial date is set for the week of May 29, according to the Somerset County Superior Court.

The second suspect to appear for trial is Jay Mercier, 56, of Industry, who is accused of killing St. Peter 31 years ago in Anson. His trial is set for Sept. 10-17.

The third suspect, Robert Nelson, 41, of Anson, who police say shot Cameron as he sat in his pickup truck in Anson, is scheduled for the week of Nov. 26.

The trial scheduling is often done in chambers with attorneys, who discuss the status of each case, time frames, the number of witnesses and other factors, said Brenda Kielty, a spokeswoman for the Maine attorney general’s office.

All three men have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. Murder convictions carry Maine’s longest sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Angelo Licata

On July 21, police responded to a 911 call from Alfred Licata’s wife, Arlene, who said that while she was upstairs she heard banging and yelling downstairs, according to a police report.

She told police she went downstairs and saw blood all over their kitchen. Her husband was found dead outside on a lawn.

Angelo Licata has been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation, according to court documents. Members of Licata’s family told the state that he has a history of mental illness, including bipolar disorder, which is characterized by drastic mood swings between mania and depression. They said he appeared to be hearing voices.

In an interview with Maine State Police, Licata claimed that God told him to kill his father, according to court papers.

Jay Mercier

Though officials say he was a suspect for 31 years, it wasn’t until Sept. 28 that Mercier was arrested on a charge of murder for allegedly killing St. Peter, who was last seen walking at night near the Anson-Madison bridge.

The state claims that Mercier sexually assaulted her, bludgeoned her on the head with a weapon similar to a tire iron and partially ran her over with his pickup truck on a field road off Campground Road in Anson.

According to a court affidavit, the tires on Mercier’s pickup — which had different types of tires on the front and back — matched the tracks at the scene of the crime.

A forensic DNA analyst also determined that Mercier’s DNA matched the semen found inside St. Peter, the affidavit states. The probability of someone else carrying the same DNA is less than one in 300 billion.

Robert Nelson

Police said Nelson shot Cameron as he sat parked on a dirt path off Town Farm Road on Oct. 31, 2009. Nelson was indicted and arrested on Sept. 16.

He faces two charges: murder and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

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 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 not been released.

Erin Rhoda — 612-2368

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