AUGUSTA — Daniel L. Fortune will face a jury on 14 criminal charges, including five attempted murder counts, Justice Michaela Murphy ruled Wednesday.

Fortune, 22, of Augusta, faces most of the charges in connection with a May 27, 2008, home invasion in Pittston in which William Guerrette, now 50, and his daughter, now 12, were severely injured in a machete attack.

In all, Fortune is charged with four counts of aggravated attempted murder, two counts of elevated aggravated assault and one count each of attempted murder, robbery, burglary, conspiracy to commit robbery and violating conditions of release; plus one count each of theft of more than $100,000, failure to appear, and a second charge of violating conditions of release.

Fortune’s attorney, Pamela Ames, sought to have the charges separated into three trials, saying handling them together would be unfair to her client. She said if Fortune wished to testify in his own defense on some charges, he would be subject to cross examination on the others. Deputy District Attorney Alan Kelley argued Wednesday against severing the case.

“These three incidents are connected, very clearly,” Kelley said. “In effect, they are inextricably intertwined.”

Jury selection is scheduled for May 4 in Somerset County Superior Court.

Murphy’s decision against severing the counts came after a 45-minute hearing in Kennebec County Superior Court.

“Defendant has failed to make a sufficient showing of prejudice,” Murphy wrote. “A properly instructed jury will be able to evaluate the evidence pertaining to each count separately.

“The court notes that, even if separate trials were granted, evidence of many or all of the alleged offenses will likely be admissible at separate trials,” the judge wrote

.A co-defendant in the case, Fortune’s foster brother, Leo R. Hylton, 19, of Augusta, pleaded guilty to robbery, burglary and three counts of attempted murder in connection with the attack.

He was sentenced four weeks ago to 90 years in prison, with all but 50 years suspended and 15 years’ probation. At his sentencing, Hylton placed much of the blame for the attack on Fortune.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.