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Appeals Likely in Maine Triple Murder Convictions

After two years of investigation, a lengthy trial, and a record five-day deliberation, a Bangor jury has convicted two men in connection with the 2012 murder of three people, in what police say was a "drug deal gone bad." The bodies of the three victims were discovered in a car on fire in a Bangor parking lot.

Prosecutors had sought three counts of murder and one count of arson against each defendant, but Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese says the jury was not convinced on all counts.

"Two counts in which there was a hung jury is a bit disappointing," Marchase said, "but having said that, I'm very grateful for the jury and their lengthy deliberation, and their hard work."

The six men and six women in Penobscot County Superior court did convict 36-year-old Randall Daluz of Brockton, Massachetts on all three counts of first degree murder and one count of arson.

In the case of his co-defendant - 33-year-old Nicholas Sexton of Warwick, Rhode Island - however, things were a bit less clear for the jury.

They agreed to convict Sexton on one count of first degree murder for the death of 24-year-old Nicolle Lugdon, as well as an arson charge for torching the car, but they could not agree on whether he was responsible for the deaths of the two other victims, 26-year-old Daniel Borders and 28-year-old Lucas Tuscano.

"We will be filing a motion for a new trial. We will be appealing," said Jefferey Silverstein. Silverstein represented Randall Daluz, who did not take the stand in his own defense.

Silverstein says it's disappointing that the jury seemed to believe Sexton's testimony, which pinned the killings on Daluz.

"We're also very concerned that the Sexton attorneys played a race card in this," Silverstein said. "As was clearly indicated they made much out of the fact that Mr. Daluz was a black man up here in Maine, and one who would stand out. We think it's inappropriate. We hope it had no impact on the jury, but it is an issue that we'll pursue."

The scene inside the courtroom was silent and stoic as the jury read its verdict. Nobody cheered; nobody looked pleased; and a few jurors had tears rolling down their faces.

Upon hearing the verdict, Daluz turned and had angry words for his co-defendant, for which Justice William Anderson threatened to have Daluz removed from the courtroom.

But Sexton's defense attorneys say they're not pleased with the verdict either. Jeffery Toothaker, lead counsel for Sexton, says it's ironic that the one murder his client was convicted on was the one crime to which Daluz had actually confessed in earlier statements. He says his client will likely appeal his single murder conviction.

The three victims were found dead inside a burning car in a Bangor parking lot in 2012, and the case led to the longest jury deliberation that the state - or the defense - could ever recall in Maine.

Daluz faces 25 years to life for each count of murder, and a possible 30 years for the arson. Nicholas Sexton faces a possible 30 years for the arson, and 25 years to life for the single count of murder.

Because the jury could not reach a verdict on the other two counts of murder, it is possible Sexton will be retried on those counts alone. The state will likely wait until Sexton is sentenced to decide whether or not to to through the expense of another trial.

And with appeals coming from both sides, it's anybody's guess when the case will finally be put to rest.