AUGUSTA — A jury on Thursday convicted Roland L. Cummings of murdering Aurele Fecteau in May 2014 as the 92-year-old man slept in his bed.

Cummings, 46, of Waterville, was accused of stabbing Fecteau to death, burglarizing his home and stealing two family rings. He was found guilty of all three charges.

In the courtroom, Cummings showed little reaction to the verdict, and his attorneys indicated they wanted a sentencing hearing set sooner rather than later.

Several of Fecteau’s family members began crying quietly as they heard the verdict.

The verdict was returned on the sixth day of the trial, which started a week ago at the Capital Judicial Center and after jurors requested to hear several pieces of evidence again. In total, the eight women and four men deliberated for about nine hours over two days.

At about 1 p.m. Thursday, jurors heard an audio recording of an interview two detectives had with Cummings that took place on Milburn Street in Skowhegan on May 24, the day after Fecteau’s body was discovered.


In the interview, Cummings tells police about plumbing and yard work he had performed on several occasions for Aurele Fecteau and that he had most recently stopped by his home briefly three weeks earlier asking if he needed any work performed. Fecteau had told him no.

In that same interview, Cummings readily agrees to provide a DNA sample, saying, “I have nothing to hide.”

On Thursday, jurors also heard the court reporter read back testimony from Cummings’ ex-girlfriend, Jillian Bryant of Fairfield, about her interactions with Cummings in the afternoon and evening of May 21, 2014. She testified about selling drugs to him twice, once in Hinckley as she was dropping Cummings off so he could hitch-hike to Skowhegan and then after 11 p.m. that same day in Waterville.

Bryant received a grant of immunity from the prosecution so she cannot be charged with any offenses she spoke about on the stand.

Jurors also requested phone numbers of several people who testified, including Bryant’s. However, Justice Michaela Murphy told them hers had not been admitted into evidence, so she could not provide it.

Records from Time Warner detailing dates and times of phone calls to and from Aurele Fecteau’s residence were already in the jury room.


Cummings did not testify during the trial.

A forensic DNA analyst from the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory testified Tuesday to finding a mixture of DNA profiles in skin cells found on the turned-out pockets of three pairs of pants found on the bedroom floor next to Fecteau’s body which indicated they were both Cummings’ and Aurele Fecteau’s.

Defense attorney Darrick Banda argued that there was no indication Cummings’ DNA got there at the time of the murder.

He repeatedly said Fecteau’s youngest son, David, had motive and opportunity and could not account for his whereabouts for much of May 20-21, 2014.

Aurele Fecteau’s body was found May 23, 2014, by his eldest son, Ernest, who had gone to check on his father after failing to get answers to repeated phone calls.

The state’s chief medical examiner testified that Aurele Fecteau had been stabbed 16 times through the bedcovers.


Banda said the number of blows indicated it was a crime of passion and that Cummings would have no grievance against the older man.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, had argued Cummings committed the crimes because he knew Fecteau had money that Cummings then used to support his drug habit.

Fecteau’s family members hugged each other and investigators as they left the courtroom.

“We are so very grateful to the jurors for using common sense, reason and DNA evidence in coming to this guilty verdict,” said Lorraine Fecteau of Waterville, Ernest Fecteau’s wife, in a written statement. “We believe justice has been served. We want to thank the Maine State Police Detectives Chris Tremblay, Jeff Love, Waterville Police Department Detective David Caron for their diligence in making the case. Also, to those who work behind the scenes, especially those in the crime labs, Christine Waterhouse and all her cohorts.”

Outside the courthouse after the verdict, Banda said, “You might want to ask yourself if you can be practically certain of a fact if you have to think about it for nine hours.”

He and defense attorney Ronald Bourget said they were heading back to the office to review the case and look at issues that could be raised on appeal. An appeal in the case cannot be filed until after the sentencing hearing.


“Mr. Cummings is disappointed,” Bourget said. “He thought that when the jury was out for so long that it might be something positive. Now he’s quite disappointed.”

The judge ordered that Cummings remain held without bail pending the sentencing hearing. He has been in custody since early June 2014.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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