AUGUSTA — The first man arrested and charged with murder in connection with the November beating death of 31-year-old Joseph Marceau of Augusta formally pleaded not guilty Thursday in a brief arraignment at the Capital Judicial Center.

Damik Davis, 25, of Queens, New York, is charged with murder in three separate forms — intentional or knowing or depraved indifference — as well as felony murder, murder, and robbery related to Marceau’s death Nov. 23, 2015, in a Washington Street apartment building.

Few details about Marceau’s death have been released, although police at the time said it was a drug-related killing. Assistant Attorney General John Alsop said after Thursday’s hearing that Marceau had been beaten to death and no knives or firearms were involved.

The night Marceau was killed, neighbors in the apartment building reported hearing loud noises in that apartment unit. Marceau lived about a mile away in an apartment on Winthrop Street.

Davis has been held without bail since his initial appearance on the charges where he did not enter a plea.

On Thursday, he formally denied the charges in front of Justice Daniel Billings. Davis, who was in an orange jail uniform, was accompanied by his attorney Stephen Smith, who said they waived reading of the indictment. Davis was told previously that a conviction on the murder charge carries a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison, and the possibility of life in prison.

Felony murder carries a maximum penalty of 30 years, and the charge asserts that the murder took place during the commission of another felony crime, in this case robbery.

Alsop on Thursday requested Davis be held without bail, and Smith agreed that Davis could remain held without bail on a day-to-day basis, pending any request for a bail hearing by the defense.

Marceau’s mother watched the hearing, sitting with a victim/witness advocate, but declined to comment.

Previously at another court hearing, she and Marceau’s sister issued a statement, saying, “On Monday we lost a dear member of our family, a son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend. Our hearts are breaking at this senseless tragedy.”

In an obituary published in the Kennebec Journal, Marceau was described as someone with a contagious smile who enjoyed playing golf and other sports.

While Davis was arrested and charged shortly after the discovery of Marceau’s body, three other people were indicted later on the same charges by a Kennebec County grand jury.

They are Michael Sean McQuade, 35, of Augusta, who has also pleaded not guilty; Zina Marie Fritze, 27, of Augusta, who committed suicide by hanging herself in jail on Jan. 27, a day after she pleaded not guilty to all the charges; and Aubrey Armstrong, 26, of Far Rockaway, New York, who is the subject of a manhunt.

Police identified Armstrong as a suspect on Feb. 16 and indicated they were working with the U.S. Marshal’s Service and New York law enforcement agencies to locate him. Armstrong, who went by the street name “Butta,” was described as 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing 155 pounds.

His last known address was 2312 Oceancrest Blvd., Far Rockaway, New York.

“New York authorities have tried to retrace his steps, including searching that address, but we have no idea where he is,” McCausland said in an interview last week. “It’s doubtful he’d return to Maine, but because we’ve been unable to locate him, the decision was made to release his name.”

Records show McQuade and Fritze were being evicted from the apartment where Marceau’s body was found, and police initially searched for them for several days, seeking to question them but not arresting them at the time.

McQuade and Fritze were arrested in January on charges of violating conditions of bail by being charged in a series of thefts at various Augusta stores, and then were indicted on Jan. 22 in connection with Marceau’s death.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams