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Tom Hallett Brings Motion To Suppress Evidence in York County Murder Case

 Following is a portion of a Portland Press Herald Article by Scott Dolan.  The article discusses HZW Attorney Tom Hallett's Motion to Suppress in York County murder case.

...Police had identified Nguany as a suspect in Raybine's killing since catching him leaving his Old Orchard Beach residence with a backpack containing a .45-caliber handgun, the same caliber as the one used to shoot Raybine.

But just weeks before Nguany was scheduled to stand trial in May, more than two years after his arrest, prosecutors obtained indictments against Lopez, 21, of Old Orchard Beach, and Mohamed, 21, of Portland.

Only Mohamed, who surrendered to police in June, was seeking to be allowed bail at Friday's hearing, but all three men appeared in court because the Maine Attorney General's Office has opted to try them together.

Mohamed's attorney, Thomas Hallett, argued at the start of the hearing that search warrants police obtained to collect evidence against his client were flawed, starting with police conduct on the day of the killing.

Although Mohamed was not charged with Raybine's death until this year, police arrested him in Old Orchard Beach on the same day as the killing on an unrelated warrant as they collected evidence in the slaying.

Police had surrounded a house at 42 East Grand Ave. in Old Orchard Beach in the morning after the 1 a.m. shooting in Biddeford, and saw Nguany leave in a taxi with a woman.

Officers pulled over the taxi and arrested Nguany, but around the same time Mohamed came out of the East Grand Avenue house to smoke a cigarette, police testified Friday.

Both Maine State Police Detective Sgt. Christopher Harriman and Old Orchard Beach Deputy Chief Timothy DeLuca testified at the hearing that they were present when Mohamed came out the door with a cellphone and DeLuca ordered him to put his hands on his head.

Hallett is arguing that no witness had identified Mohamed as connected with the shooting and that police who seized his phone had no cause to execute a search warrant to read its contents.

That evidence could be key, because police found text messages between Lopez, Mohamed and Nguany sent the day before the shooting referring to getting a "heater" and getting "heated up," which detectives concluded was a reference to a gun.

Justice Daniel Billings said Friday that he would schedule a second day for testimony in December before making any rulings in the case.

Nguany, Lopez and Mohamed have each pleaded not guilty.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

Twitter: scottddolan

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