Murder suspect makes court appearance



Raymond Lester PHOTO COURTESY OF HANCOCK COUNTY JAIL

ELLSWORTH — A Portland man charged with the hit-and-run killing of Nicole Mokeme of South Portland, who was an advocate for Black youth, appeared in court briefly via teleconferencing software Zoom on July 27.

Ellsworth defense attorney Steven Juskewitch has been appointed to represent Raymond Lester, 35.

Lester, who appeared in an orange jumpsuit and face mask, will be held without bail pending another hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

Assisting Juskewitch will be Portland attorney Tina Nadeau.

“Many of the witnesses are in Portland where Ms. Nadeau practices,” Juskewitch told Justice Bruce Mallonee, who was presiding via Zoom from the Machias courthouse in Washington County.

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese said the state would move for a Harnish hearing, at which the state would lay out probable cause for the murder charge. Usually a Harnish hearing must be held within five days of a suspect being in custody.

“We want a timely Harnish hearing, but we want to waive the five days,” Juskewitch said. Family members of Mokeme attended the hearing via Zoom.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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