WISCASSET — An Augusta man beaten to death in November 2015 was bound hand and foot as he was attacked by people intent on robbing him of his drug stash.

Details about the killing of 31-year-old Joseph Marceau came out at separate hearings Tuesday afternoon where two men indicted on murder charges in Augusta pleaded guilty to felony murder and robbery.

The guilty pleas were entered Tuesday in Lincoln County Superior Court by Damik Davis, 27, of New York, and Michael Sean McQuade of Augusta, who turns 47 on Wednesday. Both men signed plea agreements to cooperate with the prosecution of any remaining defendants, and the judge ordered the agreements sealed until the resolution of the murder charges against a third defendant, Aubrey N. Armstrong, 28, also of New York. A copy of the agreement was to be provided to Armstrong’s attorney.

Davis was the first defendant to plead guilty to felony murder and robbery, both Class A offenses, which carry penalties of up to a maximum of 30 years in prison.

He was in shackles in a green jail uniform and was brought into the courtroom by three Kennebec County transport deputies, two of whom remained seated at a table directly behind the defense table. Davis was represented by attorneys Caleb Gannon and Stephen Smith.

McQuade, who was wearing a green uniform with initials on the back that indicated he was being held at Two Bridges Regional Jail, was represented by attorney Andrew Wright. Wright told the judge that McQuade was pleading guilty under the theory of accomplice liability. Wright said McQuade was present at the time, but did not strike Marceau himself.

Brad Grant, the attorney representing Armstrong, watched the proceedings. Armstrong, known as “Butter” or “Butta,” was recently extradited to Maine to face the murder charges. He has been serving a sentence in New York. Grant said Tuesday he is preparing for trial.

The hearing to accept guilty pleas from Davis and McQuade was set during a conference of all the attorneys and Justice Daniel Billings.

On Tuesday, five members of Marceau’s family were in the Lincoln County courtroom to hear the guilty pleas. They were accompanied by the victim/witness advocate from the Maine Office of the Attorney General. Marceau’s mother declined to speak to a reporter afterward.

Assistant Attorneys General John Alsop and John Nathans prosecuted the case.

Alsop outlined the state’s version of the case against Davis, saying two Augusta police officers responded to a fourth floor Washington Street apartment Nov. 23, 2015, after downstairs neighbors reported a violent disturbance taking place above them.

The officers heard the ruckus as they climbed the stairs, Alsop said.

Alsop said Davis, who is also known as “Doughboy,” answered the door “sweating profusely, breathing hard and had blood on his left hand.” Alsop also said officers saw blood on a wall as well as a second individual, described as a “slender black male wearing a hoodie” behind Davis.

The officers asked for Zina Marie Fritze, 27, and McQuade, also known as “Dirty.” Both had been recently evicted from that apartment, but as the officers waited out front, the occupants fled out the back stairs, Alsop said. Police used a tracking dog and found Davis hiding in the bushes near the apartment building.

Marceau’s body was found in a bedroom near where Armstrong had been seen, Alsop said, adding that Marceau’s feet were bound with a shoelace, and his hands were bound with the bra to a bikini.

Alsop said the medical examiner concluded Marceau died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck and suffered a brain hemorrhage. Marceau also had been beaten on the torso with a rod or stick.

“Joe Marceau resisted,” Alsop said. “He was a pretty big guy, 6-foot-2, 215 pounds by the autopsy results. He resisted. There was a considerable struggle.”

Alsop also said McQuade “did not expect such a severe beating to be inflicted in connection with the robbery.”

McQuade told police he saw Davis and Armstrong attack Marceau, with Davis at one point attempting to stop Armstrong, Alsop said.

Alsop said Davis, McQuade, Armstrong and Fritze, had planned the robbery earlier while at the home of another woman, and three of them returned there afterward.

Alsop said once there, Armstrong bleached his clothes in an attempt to get rid of all the blood.

The next day, when they learned Marceau was dead, Armstrong fled to New York, and Fritze and McQuade hid out in Augusta where they were arrested on Jan. 22, 2016.

Nathans outlined the prosecution’s versions of events at McQuade’s hearing, saying that at one point Armstrong told the other woman “that he had beaten Marceau and threatened all (the others) to keep quiet about it.”

Billings continued both cases for sentencing, saying those hearings would be scheduled after the resolution of the charges against Armstrong. In the meantime, Billings ordered that Davis and McQuade continue to be held without bail.

All three men were indicted on charges of intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder, felony murder and robbery.

Fritze was also indicted on the same charges; however, the day after she pleaded not guilty to the indictment, she hanged herself at the Kennebec County jail. Alsop said Tuesday that both McQuade and Fritze were “serious heroin addicts” who had known Marceau because they had purchased drugs from him in the past.

At the Davis and McQuade hearings on Tuesday, there was no mention of the third charge in the indictment, the one charging them with intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder. The usual practice is for the state to dismiss other charges in exchange for pleas to the remaining counts. Nathans said he could discuss not discuss the plea agreement.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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