A New York man has pleaded not guilty to murdering Joseph Tracy in Waterville a year ago at an apartment complex in Waterville and is being held without bail at Kennebec County jail in Augusta.

Jashaun Lipscombe, 21, of New York City, appeared via video late Wednesday afternoon before Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy, who at the state’s request ordered he be held without bail. Murphy said there could be a later hearing regarding that bail order.

Lipscombe was indicted May 21 in Kennebec County Superior Court on charges that he used a Lorcin .25-caliber semi-automatic firearm to intentionally or knowingly cause the death of Tracy, 33, of West Gardiner. An indictment is not a determination of guilt but rather indicates that there’s enough evidence for a case to proceed to trial.

As of Thursday, a trial date had not been set, according to Marc Malon, spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office.

Tracy’s father, Dan Tracy, of West Gardiner, said after the arraignment Wednesday that he is glad Lipscombe is behind bars.

“Hopefully, they’ve got good evidence and evidently they do,” he said. “I just want him behind bars for a long, long time — that’s all I care about.”

Witnesses in the case said Lipscombe was angry at Tracy for being an hour late to give him a ride from Home Place Inn on College Avenue in Waterville to Bangor International Airport on June 6, 2020, so he allegedly shot him and left him for dead. That apparent motivation was revealed in a recently unsealed police affidavit in the state’s murder case against Lipscombe.

Tracy died two days later, with the state medical examiner ruling his death a homicide — the cause of death being a gunshot wound to the neck and back with spinal cord perforation.

The police affidavit in the case, dated July 7, says that on June 6 last year, Waterville police received a 911 call about a shooting at 150 College Ave. and Waterville police Sgt. Lincoln Ryder notified Waterville Detective Chase Fabian that the victim was still alive, but responders did not think he would survive. Officers were given a description of a man who fled the scene. Waterville Sgt. Jason Longley told Fabian at the scene that he went to apartment B47 where he found Tracy and Jarae Lipscombe (whom police later learned is the brother of Jashaun Lipscombe).

A wounded Tracy was talking but unable to move and he would not reveal who shot him, according to Longley. Tracy was taken to the Thayer Center for Health in Waterville and then by LifeFlight helicopter to Maine Medical Center in Portland. He died June 8 at Androscoggin Hospice House in Auburn.

Dan Tracy said after Lipscombe’s indictment in May that Maine State Police called him March 4 this year and told him Lipscombe had been arrested in New York City after authorities there observed him entering a building in Queens.

He said neurologists said last year that his son would likely have been a quadriplegic, had he lived.

In a video of Lipscombe’s arraignment Wednesday, attorney David Paris stood in for Andrew Wright, an attorney assigned by the court to represent Lipscombe. Assistant Attorney General Lisa Bogue represented the state, filling in for Assistant Attorney General Bud Ellis, who is the lead on the case.

“I did speak to Mr. Ellis and I spoke to Mr. Wright and know each of them spoke to each other and I am, as well, including Mr. Lipscombe in the conversation,” Paris said. “So, we’re agreeing to waive bail for purposes of today’s proceeding — today’s arraignment.”

Lipscombe faces another, separate charge being handled by the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office involving his alleged assault on a corrections officer in Augusta in 2017.

Joseph Tracy Provided by Jessica Poulin

Dan Tracy said he understands a conviction could bring a minimum sentence of 25 years or a maximum of life in prison. Because of a backlog of trials caused by the coronavirus pandemic, he said he was told a trial in the case could be more than a year away.

“It’s a waiting game,” he said. “We’ll wait and let justice run its course. It’s all we can do.”

 

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.