2017-02-22 / Front Page

'Justice for Charlie'

Third man sentenced in 2013 Biddeford slaying

PORTLAND — The third man who pleaded guilty to murder charges in connection to the 2013 slaying of Charles Raybine in Biddeford was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Friday.

Cumberland County Superior Court Justice Daniel Billings sentenced John Lopez, of Old Orchard Beach, to 20 years in prison — all but 10 years suspended plus four years’ probation — for felony murder in connection to the March 2013 murder, Tim Feeley, a spokesman for the Maine Attorney General’s Office, said in an email Tuesday.LopezLopez

Lopez pleaded guilty to felony murder in early November.

Raybine, 47, was killed in the early hours of March 26, 2013, having been shot three times in the face in the parking lot of the Parish Place apartment complex on Birch Street. He was sitting in a rental car at the time.

A police affidavit shows officers responded to the scene around 1 a.m., when Raybine’s nephew, Morgan "Mo" Palmer, called 911. Palmer told police he and Raybine had been playing cards, drinking and smoking crack in one of the apartments.

The two left the apartment and got into Raybine’s rental car when, according to the affidavit, two cars drove up to the parking lot, and a black man got out of one and approached Raybine’s vehicle.

The man approached Raybine and asked, “Yo, who you with, who’s this?” Raybine responded saying, “That’s Mo,” and then the man shot him three times in the face, Palmer told police.

Two others have been sentenced in connection to the crime. Mohamed Mohamed, a transient from Portland, pleaded guilty in November to charges of conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to seven years, with all but three suspended.

Bub Peter Nguany, of Old Orchard Beach, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for murder in late November. He was also slapped with a concurrent 20-year sentence for conspiracy to commit murder, heaving pleaded guilty to both charges earlier that month.

Police found a .45-caliber handgun with ammunition matching shell casings recovered from the crime scene in Nguany’s backpack after his arrest in Old Orchard Beach following the crime.

Since his death, family and friends of Raybine have continually remembered him as intelligent, charismatic and a good father. They said at Nguany’s sentencing that Raybine was someone who, despite struggling with his own addiction, always went out of his way to help others with theirs.

Brenda Larain, sister of Lori DePeter, with whom Raybine has an adult son, said in an email Monday that Lopez’s appearance in court was tense, involving several heated exchanges between Billings and members of Lopez’s family.

“(Billings) informed everyone planning to speak on Lopez's behalf that Mr. Raybine was the innocent victim, a man just sitting in his car, that the facts showed was in no way connected to the robbery of Nguany and Lopez's drugs and money,” Larain said. “Judge Billings stated he would not be listening to anyone who referred to (Mr.) Lopez as a victim.”

According to Larain, Lopez showed “very little remorse” to Raybine’s family, instead apologizing more to the Old Orchard Beach community, his family and his friends.

Larain also said no-contact orders were issued, wherein Lopez nor anyone on his behalf is allowed to contact her, Palmer, DePeter or her son, or Raybine’s widow, Lori Raybine.

Lopez’s sentencing at last ends a grueling, four-year battle for Raybine’s family, who said they are glad to see justice for the deceased.

“Overall we achieved our goal, which was to not only get justice for Charlie but for the true facts of the case showing that he was an innocent victim that night to become public knowledge,” Larain said. 

— Staff Writer Alan Bennett can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or abennett@journaltribune.com.

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