November 26, 2012

Anson murder victim was slain because of drugs, attorneys claim

Murder trial against Robert Nelson, 41, of Norridgewock, opened Monday in Somerset Superior Court in Skowhegan

By Rachel Ohm
Staff Writer

SKOWHEGAN -- Prosecutors and defense disagree about who killed Everett L. Cameron, but they do agree on one thing.

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Murder defendant Robert Nelson, right, listens to opening statements in his trial in the death of Everett Cameron, on Monday in Somerset Superior Court in Skowhegan. At left is defense attorney John Alsop.

Staff photo by David Leaming

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Assistant Attorney General Don Macomber holds a bag filled with prescription drugs in his opening statement against defendant Robert Nelson, on trial in the death of Everett Cameron in Skowhegan Superior Court, on Monday.

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"Cameron was killed for his pills," said attorney Philip Mohlar, who is defending Robert Nelson, 41, of Norridgewock, who is charged with murdering Cameron, in Anson, on Oct. 31, 2009.

Mohlar said in his opening statement Monday that Cameron was a drug dealer, specifically of oxycodone. He said his customers had access to him and may have had the same motives for killing Cameron that Nelson is accused of -- addiction and owing money.

Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber said Monday that Nelson was addicted to oxycodone and was spending $300 to $400 a week on drugs in the fall of 2009.

Macomber said Nelson was high on drugs when he shot Cameron on Town Farm Road in Anson.

On Monday, both Cameron's son, Everett J. Cameron Sr., and Cameron's fiancée, Virginia Hayden, testified about his plans to meet Nelson on the day he was shot.

Cameron said his father knew Nelson through their employment with Bruce Manzer Paving & Construction Co.

He said his father was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2002 and prescribed pain medication. He said he was a drug addict himself and had been associated with the local drug community for about four years. He encouraged his father to sell some of the oxycodone pills he was getting with his treatment.

He said he helped his father arrange deals with people the family knew but "there were people, at least one, he was selling to that I didn't know of."

He testified he also got pills from his father, although he never paid for them.

Cameron said he was unaware his father had been selling to Nelson, until he went hunting with him on the day of the shooting and his father mentioned plans to meet Nelson later that day.

Hayden also testified Monday that she was aware Cameron had sold drugs to Nelson for at least a few months and knew of plans for the two of them to meet that day.

She said Nelson had been buying oxycodone from Cameron and owed him money.

Hayden said she later found Cameron shot in the face when she passed his truck on her way home from running errands. She went home and called police.

Maine State Police Detective Mike Mitchell testified Monday he was one of the first officers to arrive at the truck. He said police ruled out suicide because they did not find a gun in the truck. They did find an empty oxycodone prescription bottle.

Mitchell was also one of two officers who interviewed and recorded Nelson that night. Only the first half of the lengthy interview was heard by the court on Monday.

"I had nothing to do with Everett's death. He was a good man," Nelson said in the recorded interview.

Nelson told police he spent the morning of Oct. 31, 2009, cutting firewood with a friend.

He said returned home to prepare for his 4-year-old daughter's birthday party later in the day. Nelson said he owed Cameron $35 and that the two had plans to meet about it that day. Nelson said he didn't have the money but drove to the Town Farm Road anyway.

Nelson said he returned home and went to his daughter's birthday party, at his grandmother's house in North Anson.

In the recording, police told Nelson they were confused about why he would have met with Cameron if he did not have the money.

The court is scheduled to hear the rest of the police interview with Nelson at at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday when the trial resumes.

Rachel Ohm -- 612-2368

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