AUGUSTA — A 46-year-old Augusta man indicted on a murder charge entered a series of no contest pleas Friday to a separate series of car burglaries and thefts that occurred largely in October and November 2015, shortly before the slaying occurred.

Michael Sean McQuade, 46, automatically was found guilty of those offenses by Justice Daniel Billings, and he is to be sentenced later to two years in prison, the term recommended both by the prosecutor Assistant Attorney General Kate Marshall and McQuade’s defense attorney, Andrew Dawson.

Immediately before that hearing at the Capital Judicial Center, Billings met with the attorneys representing McQuade and two other defendants also indicted in the Nov. 23, 2015, death of Joseph Marceau, 32, of Augusta.

The case is scheduled to go to trial in November 2017.

Marceau was found beaten to death in what police said was a drug-related slaying in an apartment at 75 Washington St., where McQuade and his girlfriend, Zina Marie Fritze, lived. Fritze, 27, also was indicted in Marceau’s murder, but she died after she hanged herself at the Kennebec County jail a day after pleading not guilty in court.

On Friday, Billings warned McQuade that the convictions on the burglary and theft offenses could come up should McQuade testify at any trial in the future.


Marshall, too, said there were no promises by the state about the murder charge and that the burglary and theft cases were entirely separate.

McQuade, who was shackled at the waist and around the ankles, said he understood and indicated he had discussed the matter with Andrew Wright, the attorney representing McQuade in the indictment on charges of intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder — three versions of the same crime — as well as felony murder and robbery, all on Nov. 23, 2015.

McQuade has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Marshall told Billings Augusta police had taken reports about a rash of car burglaries between October and November 2015. According to a series of summonses issued by Augusta police, the vehicles were burglarized Nov. 6-11, 2015, on River, Washington and Water streets as well as Julianne Lane and Northern Avenue.

McQuade was charged later with theft by deception for apparently taking merchandise from Kmart and Target and attempting to return it to get cash.

In all, McQuade pleaded no contest Friday to two counts each of burglary and burglary of a motor vehicle, seven counts of theft by unauthorized taking and one count of receiving stolen property. Eight other charges were dismissed in exchange for the plea.


Marshall said Walgreens notified police on Nov. 5, 2015, that Fritze had been there, attempting to pass business checks belonging to Shenanigans, a night club on Water Street in Augusta.

The checks had been reported stolen earlier that day from a vehicle belonging to one of the business owners.

Police found video showing Fritze walking around that vehicle, and when they confronted her, she indicated McQuade was involved.

En route to search their Washington Street apartment, police saw McQuade and picked him up, and he admitted the vehicle break-ins.

“He was quite blunt with them and admitted to retaining certain items from those vehicles,” Marshall said. “Some were at the apartment and some in his backpack, including a GPS device and Galaxy phone.”

McQuade also allowed police to search his apartment, where they found other items that had been reported stolen from various vehicles, including keys, a DVD player and a scanner.


Marshall also said McQuade admitted stealing a snowblower from a garage on Oxford Street and tools from a vacant Washington Street building.

When Billings asked if McQuade wanted to correct anything Marshall said about the evidence she had, McQuade said, “I do not.”

Marshall also indicated she was seeking $1,326 restitution from McQuade.

Damik Davis, 26, of Queens, New York, was the first man arrested in connection with Marceau’s slaying. Davis, too, pleaded not guilty to murder in three separate forms — intentional or knowing or depraved indifference — as well as felony murder, murder and robbery, all related to Marceau’s death. Davis is represented by attorneys Stephen C. Smith and Caleb Gannon.

A third man charged in Marceau’s killing, Aubrey N. Armstrong, 27, of Far Rockaway, New York, is serving a sentence at the Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill, New York. He was arrested in July 26 in Queens.

Court documents from New York state indicate Armstrong was convicted in February 2014 in Queens Criminal Court of sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. The verdict initially was reversed and then reinstated following an appeal, which was decided in April 2016.


Armstrong has opposed extradition and has yet to be brought back to Maine to face the charges. Attorney Brad Grant has been appointed to represent Armstrong in the murder case.

Assistant Attorneys General John Alsop and John Nathans were representing the prosecution at Friday’s conference.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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