State and local police investigate a shooting June 6, 2020, at the Home Place Inn at 150 College Ave. in Waterville. Joseph Tracy, 33, of West Gardiner was taken by a LifeFlight of Maine helicopter to Maine Medical Center in Portland. He died June 8 of his injuries. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

AUGUSTA — Jashawn Lipscombe shot and killed Joseph Tracy in Waterville, then fled the scene with the help of his brother and hid the gun he had used before leaving Maine, a prosecutor said Monday.

That description came Monday during opening statements on the first day of Lipscombe’s murder trial at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta, at which the prosecution also said Lipscombe’s brother gave police a bogus description of who had shot Tracy that resulted in an officer encountering the murder defendant on the street but letting him go on his way.

Jashawn Lipscombe

Defense lawyer Andrew Wright, who is representing Lipscombe, said there is no evidence or any witnesses indicating Jashawn Lipscombe was even at the apartment where Tracy was shot. Wright suggested someone else, potentially Lipscombe’s brother, Jarae, whom he said was a drug dealer, shot Tracy.

Wright also said the state is unable to prove the gun found under a bush in the north end neighborhood where the shooting took place is the same gun that was used to end Tracy’s life.

Jashawn Lipscombe, 23, of New York City is accused of shooting and killing Tracy, 33, of West Gardiner on June 6, 2020.

Prosecutor Chris Coleman, an assistant district attorney, said in his opening statement the state will present substantial evidence that Lipscombe, furious that Tracy was late to take him to the airport, shot Tracy in the neck and left him to die.


Coleman said when a person murders someone, that person does things that evidence shows Jashawn Lipscombe did: Leave the scene of the crime, hide the weapon, mislead police and hide out before leaving the state.

Those are not what Jarae Lipscombe did, which was stay at the scene, cradle the victim in his arms, use his own shirt to try to stop Tracy’s bleeding and call and talk to the police, Coleman said.

Coleman said responding police officers and rescue workers will report that when they entered the bathroom of the apartment at 150 College Ave., they encountered “a man, the defendant’s brother, cradling Joe Tracy in his arms as he died of a gunshot wound,” Coleman said. “The defendant fled the scene.”

Wright said no one questions that the shooting death of Tracy was a tragedy and unnecessary, but “Jashawn Lipscombe had nothing to do with it.”

“The facts (of the case) have very little to do with Jashawn Lipscombe, and everything to do with his brother, Jarae,” Wright said.

Wright closed his opening statement by describing the state’s case against Jashawn Lipscombe as “held together by paper clips and bubble gum.”


Jashawn Lipscombe, whose first name has been spelled differently by authorities in the past, pleaded not guilty in 2021, and has been jailed since then while awaiting trial.

In January, Lipscombe’s brother, Jarae, was sentenced to three years in prison for hindering Jashawn Lipscombe’s arrest. He was found guilty at a jury trial last year of hindering apprehension or prosecution because he had lied to police and helped his brother flee the crime scene. Jashawn Lipscombe then reportedly fled the state and remained on the lam for nearly nine months.

The police affidavit in the case says Waterville police received a 911 call June 6, 2020, about a shooting at the Home Place Inn at 150 College Ave., and Waterville police Sgt. Lincoln Ryder notified Waterville Detective Chase Fabian that the victim was still alive, but rescue workers did not think he would survive.

Officers were given a description of a man who fled the scene — based on inaccurate information provided by Jarae Lipscombe — and canvassed the area.

Matt Libby, who is now retired, was a patrol officer with the Waterville Police Department when the shooting happened. He testified to having stopped to talk to a Black man, who did not have clothing similar to the description of the suspect given by Jarae Lipscombe, who was walking in the neighborhood while police searched for the shooting suspect.

Libby said the man, who officials now believe was Lipscombe, acted nervously when they spoke. The man was sweating heavily and said he did not have identification. He reportedly gave Libby what turned out to be a fake name.


Libby said he called his sergeant and described the man and their interaction. Libby was instructed not to detain the man, so the officer allowed him to walk away.

Joseph Tracy Provided by Jessica Poulin

Waterville Sgt. Jason Longley testified Monday he went to apartment 47B, where he found Tracy and Jarae Lipscombe, who police later learned is the brother of Jashawn Lipscombe.

A wounded Tracy was talking, but unable to move. He said a Black man he did not know had shot him, according to Longley.

Tracy was taken to the Thayer Center for Health in Waterville, and then by a LifeFlight of Maine helicopter to Maine Medical Center in Portland. He died June 8 at Androscoggin Hospice House in Auburn, surrounded by family members, according to his father, Dan Tracy.

Dan Tracy testified Monday about having received a telephone call from a doctor at the Thayer Center for Health, who said Tracy’s son, who was living at the family’s property in West Gardiner and working as a flagger at construction sites, had been shot and had a bullet in his neck.

“I was stunned,” Dan Tracy said. “I told my wife, who was in the shower, and she started crying. I called both my daughters immediately.”


Dan Tracy and his wife went to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where they at first were not allowed to see their son due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were later allowed to see him briefly.

Dan Tracy said his son suffered from an addiction to opiates, to which Joseph Tracy became addicted after receiving them for pain stemming from an accident with a tractor-trailer. Under questioning from Wright, Dan Tracy said he did not know who had provided his son the opiates and that his son did not have a prescription.

The state medical examiner ruled Tracy’s death a homicide, with the cause a gunshot wound to the neck and back, with spinal cord perforation.

Jashawn Lipscombe was indicted May 21, 2021, at Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta on charges he used a Lorcin .25-caliber semiautomatic firearm to intentionally or knowingly cause Joseph Tracy’s death.

Jashawn Lipscombe, who court documents indicate is also known as Jashaun Lipscombe, sat between his two lawyers, Wright and David Paris, wearing a black shirt, black tie and shackles on his wrist that also wrapped around his waist.

Lipscombe waived his right to a jury trial, so his case will be decided by the presiding judge, Superior Court Justice Deborah Cashman.

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