David W. Marble Jr. shot an Augusta couple each in the head as he sat behind them in an SUV early Christmas morning 2015, prosecutors said Tuesday as the murder trial of Marble began in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland.

But Marble’s attorney told jurors that the state won’t be able to present any forensic evidence tying Marble to the crime – the murder weapon has never been found and prosecutors haven’t located Marble’s fingerprints or DNA in the SUV or his shoeprints in the sand next to the vehicle.

Marble, who was arrested and charged four days after the murders, is accused of killing Eric Williams, 35, and Bonnie Royer, 26, in Manchester early on Dec. 25, 2015. The trial was moved to Cumberland County because the case received intensive coverage in central Maine.

Marble was also referenced by Gov. Paul LePage in early 2016, when he said that drug dealers come to Maine with names such as “D-Money, Smoothie and Shifty” and “half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave.” D-Money, or Dee-Monday, is an alias of Marble’s, but the references to the alias have been removed from most court documents because his lawyers are concerned it could be inflammatory, given LePage’s use of it.

In her opening statement Tuesday, Assistant Attorney General Meg Elam said that Williams bought drugs from Marble, who is from Rochester, New York, and also assisted him in dealing drugs.

But Marble suspected Williams of being involved in the Christmas Eve robbery of the Augusta apartment where Marble was staying, during which television sets, drugs, a gun and several backpacks were stolen, Elam said. So Marble arranged for Williams, who was with his girlfriend, Royer, to pick him up shortly after 3 a.m. Christmas Day and drive to the entrance of a gravel pit.

There, Elam said, Marble shot them both, with the shots heard by other associates of Marble’s in a separate car.

Royer apparently survived the shooting and managed to get in a call to 911, saying “I just … I just got shot,” Elam said. But Marble returned to the SUV when he realized that he had left his cellphone behind, Elam said. Then the people in the other car heard another shot after Marble got back in the car to retrieve the cellphone, Elam said.

Elam said the state will show jurors cellphone data on the whereabouts of everyone involved that morning, along with texts that indicate Marble, Williams and Royer “were on a collision course” that led to murder.

But Jon Gale, one of Marble’s lawyers, said jurors will hear from witnesses whose testimony shifted as the case was investigated.

He also said that Marble was aware that police were interviewing people he knew after the shooting and yet he didn’t leave, as one would expect a suspect in a murder case would do.

“He could have been gone within an hour,” Gale said, yet was arrested days later in Augusta when police stopped a car he was riding in.

And, Gale said, prosecutors will have to explain why they have no strong evidence that Marble was at the site of the shooting.

“You’re not going to have any evidence that puts him there,” he said.

The trial is expected to continue into next week.

 

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