William Morse FILE PHOTO

Judge to rule on murder evidence

ELLSWORTH — After arguing in court last month that evidence in the case of a man accused of murdering a Trenton accountant should be suppressed, the attorneys for William Morse have filed a memorandum to support their position.

That memorandum will be taken into consideration when Justice Robert Murray makes his decision on the motion to suppress filed in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court by Morse’s attorneys, Jeffrey Toothaker and David Bate.

Morse, 45, of Otis and Fishkill, N.Y., is accused of murdering 61-year-old Richard Bellittieri. Bellittieri’s skeletal remains were found in July 2013 behind a home he owned on the Goose Cove Road in Trenton.

Richard Bellittieri FILE PHOTO

Richard Bellittieri

Morse’s attorneys are seeking to suppress evidence obtained during a search of a vehicle and Bellittieri’s home as well as statements made to police in the days leading to their client’s arrest.

State police began looking for Bellittieri in July 10, 2013 after Bar Harbor police arrested Morse on drunk driving charges, refusing to submit to arrest and refusing to produce identification. Morse allegedly was driving a vehicle registered to Bellittieri. Officers searched the vehicle and seized a driver’s license, credit cards, a Social Security card, birth certificate and other documents belonging to Bellittieri.

Toothaker, at the Feb. 19 motion hearing, contended there was no probable cause for the search. The prosecutor, assistant attorney general Donald Macomber, disagreed, saying Morse was in possession of marijuana, which gave police probable cause to search the vehicle.

Unable to immediately locate Bellittieri to see if Morse had permission to use his vehicle, Bar Harbor police contacted state police.

As part of the state police investigation, detectives went to Bellittieri’s Trenton home. Believing no one was present, police entered the home to secure the premises while a search warrant was obtained. There they found Morse hiding under a pile of clothes in a bedroom closet. One of the detectives interviewed Morse, and he was allowed to leave. A week later, Morse was arrested on the murder charge.

Morse’s attorneys are asking the court to suppress all evidence found in the home, including the discovery of Morse himself, up until the time the search warrant was obtained.

The attorneys also are seeking the suppression of statements Morse made to police between July 25 and July 29, 2013.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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