PORTLAND – The state’s high court has upheld the murder conviction of Daudoit Butsitsi of Portland, who was found guilty of fatally shooting his roommate in 2010.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued its ruling Thursday, rejecting Butsitsi’s appeal to vacate his conviction for the murder of Serge Mulongo, 24.
Butsitsi, now 27, is serving a 38-year sentence for killing Mulongo at their apartment building on Park Avenue. The defense framed the shooting as self-defense, while the prosecution said it was an act of revenge.
Butsitsi argued in his appeal that the judge at the trial in 2011 made a mistake when he determined that Butsitsi had waived his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when he refused to tell the prosecutor who provided the gun he used.
The judge had told the jury that while Butsitsi took the stand in his own defense, he did have to answer that specific question because it could implicate him in another crime.
In its written decision, the supreme court said: “We conclude that the court acted within its discretion in instructing the jurors that they could consider Butsitsi’s unprivileged refusal to answer the state’s question on cross-examination.”
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