Three people have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Lewiston man during a brawl last June. The death of 38-year-old Donald Giusti came at a time of rising ethnic tensions in the city and sparked a call for peace by immigrant community leaders.
Authorities say one of the juveniles, a 17-year-old male from Lewiston, was charged with manslaughter. His first court appearance is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. in Lewiston District Court.
Officials say a 13-year-old male from Lewiston was also arrested in connection with the incident, and charged with misdemeanor assault.
The third person charged in the incident is Pierre Mousafiri, 23, of Lewiston, police say. Mousafiri is also facing a misdemeanor assault charge.
The two juveniles were taken to the Long Creek Correctional Facility in South Portland, and Mousafiri was transported to the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn, officials say.
Giusti died after being severely beaten during the brawl last summer that Lewiston police estimated to involve as many as two dozen people. Some claimed that racial conflict contributed to the fight, which prompted the city to establish a curfew.
Earlier this year, Guisti's family released a statement saying they were unhappy with the progress of the city’s investigation. Police said the sheer number of people - and the number of juveniles - involved in the brawl contributed to the investigation's length.
After news of the arrests Thursday, Lewiston Mayor Kristen Cloutier issued a statement commending city and state police as well as the Maine Attorney General's office for conducting a thorough investigation. She encouraged both long-time Lewiston residents and newcomers to come together to prevent future tragedies.
Updated 3:21 p.m. ET. April 11, 2019
Originally published April 11, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. ET.