John Williams

PORTLAND, Maine - A Maine man has pleaded not guilty to murder in the slaying of a Maine sheriff's deputy.
John Williams is charged with killing 61-year-old Somerset County Cpl. Eugene Cole on April 25 in Norridgewock. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon in a Portland courtroom.
Prosecutors are seeking a life prison sentence.
An affidavit says after killing Cole, Williams stole the deputy's pickup and robbed a convenience store before abandoning the truck.
Williams then fled into the woods and sparked a four-day manhunt.

Kevin Bennett / Maine Public

Somerset County Deputy Sheriff Eugene Cole is being honored today at a public memorial service in Bangor.  Cpl. Cole was the first Maine law enforcement officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty in nearly three decades.

Marina Villeneuve / Associated Press

John Williams of Madison was formally charged with murder in connection with the death of Somerset County deputy Eugene Cole at his first court appearance Monday in Kennebec County. A police affidavit revealed some new details in the case, but doesn’t shed light on why Cole was shot.

Justice Robert Mullen ordered a mental health examination of Williams and agreed to prosecutors’ request for a change of venue to Cumberland County. Williams stared straight ahead as he sat with his court-appointed lawyers and answered questions from the judge.

Tom Porter / MPBN

BAILEYVILLE, Maine - There's a rare bit of good news out of the Maine pulp and paper industry. Gov. Paul LePage was in Washington County this morning attend a ground-breaking ceremony for two new paper-making machines. St. Croix Tissue Inc. of Baileyville is getting $120 million worth of equipment installed, courtesy of parent company International Grand Investment Corporation, which is based in Hong Kong. According to state officials, the first machine is expected to be up-and-running in Baileyville next fall.