A Portland man accused of attempted murder formally changed his plea to guilty Wednesday to being a felon in possession of a gun, a federal charge related to a shooting in the Old Port in 2015.

Moses Okot, 28, is accused of shooting and stabbing one man and shooting another multiple times in downtown Portland in November 2015. He agreed this month to change his plea to guilty on the federal firearms charge and accepted a deal under which he will serve the maximum of 10 years.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Jon Levy in Portland accepted his change of plea.

Okot will be sentenced at a later date after federal officials complete a presentencing report.

Moses Okot

In the hearing before Levy, Okot agreed to most of the facts set out in the federal indictment, normally a routine part of a guilty plea, but he objected to a section in the indictment that said that he shot two men. Okot, after conferring with his lawyer Michael Whipple, told Levy that he only shot one man.

Levy noted the disagreement, but the dispute over whether Okot shot one man or two didn’t alter the federal charge of being a felon with a gun and didn’t result in a different plea or change the deal on the sentence.


According to police, Okot shot the two men early on Nov. 16, 2015 near the intersection of Pearl and Milk streets.

A Portland police officer patrolling in the area heard the shots and then saw Okot speed away from the area in his car. The officer gave chase and Okot allegedly ran from the car on Oxford Street, where police arrested him after a short search of the area.

Okot was initially jailed on a probation violation because he had pleaded guilty in 2011 to felony murder of Serge Mulongo in the Parkside neighborhood the year before. Okot was accused of driving the getaway car and providing latex gloves to the man who shot 25-year-old Daudoit Butsitsi.

In that case, Okot was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with all but three years suspended, and was given credit for the 16 months he spent in jail while awaiting trial. Felony murder is a lesser charge than murder in Maine.

In the deal Okot agreed to, he will serve 10 years on the federal charge after he completes a sentence of 5-1/2 years on a state charge of probation violation. The agreement said the federal sentence will run concurrently with any sentence he receives on additional state charges from the Old Port shooting. He has been indicted by a Cumberland County grand jury on charges of aggravated attempted murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault and reckless conduct with a firearm.

No trial date has been set for the state charges.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6464 or at:

[email protected]

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