ELLSWORTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- 'Not Guilty' ---that's the plea William Morse enteredin court on Thursdayfor charges he murdered an accountant from Trenton a year ago and then assumedthe man'sidentity.
Morse, who is 43, is facing 25 years to life in prison for the death of Richard Bellittieri.The defendantwas arraigned in Hancock County Superior Court in Ellsworth on Thursdayafter being indicted by a Hancock County grand jury. The state argues that Morse killed Bellitieri sometime last year and then tried to assume his identity.
Court documents read that the victim had been missing for several months. Police say Morse was usingBellittieri's credit cards and even rented out property belonging to Bellittieri pretending to be him. The victim's body was finally found in July near his home on Goose Cove Road in Trenton.
A state autopsy concluded Bellittieri died after being shot multiple times. Attorneys for Morse say they feel the state's whole case is coincidental --- pointing out that their client never confessed to the murder.
"The defendant maintains his innocence," said Matthew Foster, who is one of the attorneys representing Morse, "and we haven't received any reports from the police yet so once we get those we'll be able to evaluate the case and continue on from there."
Morse is also facing several other charges in addition to murder. He's currently being held at the Hancock County jail and is due back in court in November.