Murder suspect seeks to quash search evidence

William Morse

ELLSWORTH — The attorney for a man accused of murdering a Trenton accountant and assuming the victim’s identity said he expects to file a motion to suppress evidence in the case.

Jeffrey Toothaker, attorney for William Morse, said Wednesday that he planned to file the motion later that day in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court.

Morse, 44, of Otis and Fishkill, N.Y., was arrested Aug. 1, 2013, and charged with the murder of Richard Bellittieri, whose skeletal remains were found several days earlier behind a home he owned on the Goose Cove Road in Trenton. The State Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Bellittieri had been shot twice in the head and in a thigh and foot.

Toothaker argues that, because the search warrant was issued for an address other than Bellittieri’s home, all evidence, including the skeletal remains, discovered during execution of the warrant should be suppressed.

Toothaker said the warrant was issued for 320 Goose Cove Road. Bellittieri, he said, lived at 318 Goose Cove Road.

Morse came to the attention of police in July of last year when Bar Harbor police arrested him on charges of operating while under the influence, refusing to submit to arrest and refusing to produce identification. At the time, Morse allegedly was driving an Audi registered to Bellittieri and had the murdered man’s driver’s license, credit cards, Social Security card, birth certificate and other personal documents in the car.

After Bar Harbor police failed to contact Bellittieri to confirm Morse had permission to use the Audi, the Trenton accountant was reported as missing to state police, launching an investigation.

State police detectives interviewed Morse on July 25, 2013, after finding him hiding in a closet in Bellittieri’s home. At the time, Morse told police that Bellittieri had hired him to do construction work on the home and the Trenton man was living with a woman in New York.

Morse’s arrest followed what state police at the time described as a standoff in Dedham. Detectives, knowing Morse had been staying at a home on the Peaks Hill Road, approached him as he rode up to the residence on a motorcycle. Morse, after being confronted about the evidence against him, ran inside the home and refused to come out.

Morse later slipped out of the home and got a ride from someone at a nearby gas station. That vehicle was stopped, and Morse was arrested in Ellsworth.

Hearings on this and other motions in the case are scheduled to be heard in December, a court clerk said.

Toothaker said the case has been set for trial in March.

Morse has been incarcerated since his arrest and currently is being held at the Hancock County Jail.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

Latest posts by Mark Good (see all)