State Street in Biddeford where Ahmed Sharif, 27, a Lewiston man, was shot and killed on Nov. 24. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

After a week in the dark, a murder defendant is now allowed to learn about the state’s evidence against him.

Lorenze Labonte, 25, was barred until Tuesday from viewing the police affidavit used to support charging him with murder in the death of Ahmed Sharif.

Lorenze A. Labonte, 24, appears in York County Superior Court on Tuesday via Zoom. He is charged with murder in the death of a Lewiston man. Screenshot via Zoom hearing

Sharif, 27, was found dead on Nov. 24 at a Biddeford apartment where court records say Labonte had previously lived.

During Labonte’s first appearance last week, Superior Court Justice James Martemucci agreed to seal the affidavit from the public and the defendant himself. Martemucci said Labonte’s defense attorney could review the document, but the lawyer was not allowed to share its contents with his client. The prosecutors’ motion to seal Labonte’s affidavit was also impounded, so it was unclear why Martemucci issued his order.

The document remains sealed to the public.

Legal experts and Maine lawyers watching the case from afar told the Press Herald last week that it’s not unusual for a document to be impounded from the public, but that it was rare to keep it from a defendant. They thought it could indicate the state has secret witnesses or is planning more arrests.


Prosecutors filed a new motion this week to let Labonte’s attorneys discuss the record with him – though he’s still not allowed to have his own copy.

The judge agreed to the change Tuesday and issued a list of people Labonte is not allowed to contact, according to attorneys. That list was not immediately available Tuesday afternoon.

The Press Herald attempted to attend the hearing, which was held via Zoom, but was excluded because the York County clerk’s office gave a reporter the wrong link. A recording of the proceeding wasn’t available from the court system.

It’s still unclear if Sharif’s death is in any way connected to a nearby shooting a day after he was arrested.

Ariana Tito, who is identified in previous court records as Labonte’s sister, is charged with attempted murder in connection with the shooting of 32-year-old Kayla Grant. Tito, who is 18, allegedly shot Grant at the same Saco address where Labonte was arrested.

Police arrested Tito on Friday in New York. She was still in custody at Rikers Island as of Tuesday and Maine authorities are still working on her extradition.

A spokesperson for the Office of the Maine Attorney General said the affidavit for her arrest was still impounded.

Prosecutors and police have not said whether Labonte’s and Tito’s cases are related. She is identified as Labonte’s sister in court documents for an aggravated assault charge he faced in 2018 for stabbing his mother and her boyfriend. Tito, who was a minor at the time, was identified by her initials “A.T.” in police reports, but her full name and birthdate were included on a witness list.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.