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2 on trial accused of triple killing in Maine

  • Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., listens to lawyers at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Bangor, Maine. Daluz and Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., are on trial after being accused of the murder of three people and setting their car containing the bodies on fire in August 2012. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

    Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., listens to lawyers at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Bangor, Maine. Daluz and Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., are on trial after being accused of the murder of three people and setting their car containing the bodies on fire in August 2012. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

  • Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., enters a courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Bangor, Maine. Sexton and Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., are on trial after being accused of the murder of three people and setting their car containing the bodies on fire in August 2012. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

    Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., enters a courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Bangor, Maine. Sexton and Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., are on trial after being accused of the murder of three people and setting their car containing the bodies on fire in August 2012. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

  • Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., arrives in a courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Bangor, Maine. Daluz and Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., are on trial after being accused of the murder of three people and setting their car containing the bodies on fire in August 2012. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

    Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., arrives in a courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Bangor, Maine. Daluz and Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., are on trial after being accused of the murder of three people and setting their car containing the bodies on fire in August 2012. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

  • Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., enters a courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Bangor, Maine. Sexton and Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., are on trial after being accused of the murder of three people and setting their car containing the bodies on fire in August 2012. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

    Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., enters a courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Bangor, Maine. Sexton and Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., are on trial after being accused of the murder of three people and setting their car containing the bodies on fire in August 2012. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

  • Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., listens to lawyers at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Bangor, Maine. Daluz and Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., are on trial after being accused of the murder of three people and setting their car containing the bodies on fire in August 2012. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
  • Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., enters a courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Bangor, Maine. Sexton and Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., are on trial after being accused of the murder of three people and setting their car containing the bodies on fire in August 2012. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
  • Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., arrives in a courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Bangor, Maine. Daluz and Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., are on trial after being accused of the murder of three people and setting their car containing the bodies on fire in August 2012. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
  • Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., enters a courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Bangor, Maine. Sexton and Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., are on trial after being accused of the murder of three people and setting their car containing the bodies on fire in August 2012. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

A prosecutor told jurors yesterday that cell phone records and bullets recovered from the scene of a burning car and three dead bodies points to two men on trial for murder, but defense attorneys countered that the state lacks evidence to convict their clients.

Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Mass., and Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, R.I., are accused of the deaths of three Maine residents in what prosecutors say was a drug dispute.

The burning car with Rhode Island license plates was found ablaze Aug. 13, 2012, in a Bangor, Maine, parking lot. The bodies of 26-year-old Daniel Thomas Borders of Hermon, 24-year-old Nicolle Ashley Lugdon of Eddington and 28-year-old Lucas Alan Tuscano of Bradford were found inside the torched rental vehicle.

In her opening statement, Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese told jurors the three victims were all members of Bangor’s drug underworld and used and sold drugs, including heroin, Percocet and cocaine. She said the prosecution will present evidence that Daluz and Sexton killed them but the motives might be unclear.

“In its simplest form, this case is about the sale and use of drugs. It is about loyalty. It is about money,” Marchese said.

But Sexton’s attorney, Jeffrey Toothaker, said the state will likely ask jurors to make assumptions about what happened that night. He reminded the jury the prosecution needs to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The case has a beginning, a middle and an end, and the state doesn’t really know what happened in the middle,” Toothaker said.

Daluz’s lawyer, Hunter Tzovarras, said the state has no evidence his client was present when the victims were last seen and no evidence he was present when they were killed. Tzovarras said the state considers Daluz guilty because of his association with Sexton.

Tzovarras said a video shows one white man fleeing the scene of the killings. Sexton is white; Daluz is black. In a court document, Daluz also blames the killings on Sexton.

“The evidence is simply just not there to show Randall murdered anyone,” Tzovarras said.

Daluz and Sexton are charged with three counts of murder and one count of starting a fire. If convicted, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

In court, Daluz and Sexton sat at separate tables. Relatives of the victims were among those in the courtroom audience. After opening statements, jurors were taken by bus to see the crime scene.

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