PORTLAND — A 20-year-old Gray man is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday to face an aggravated assault charge, in connection with an early morning fight on Sunday that left another man dead.

William Googins is being held on $50,000 cash bail at the Cumberland County Jail. Police say Googins and two friends were in Monument Square around 1:30 a.m. when 24-year-old Eric Benson and a female friend walked through the square.

The men directed some derogatory comments at the woman, which made her feel threatened, police said, and after a brief exchange between the two parties, Googins punched Benson.

No weapon was used, but police say the single punch knocked Benson unconscious and he fell on the brick plaza. He was pronounced dead around noon Sunday at Maine Medical Center.

Benson was a Westbrook High School graduate who was studying geochemistry at the University of Maine in Farmington, with plans eventually to hunt for oil. He would have graduated in December.

Services for Benson are planned for Saturday in Westbrook at the Parish of St. Anthony of Padua. Viewing will be at 10 a.m., with funeral services to follow at noon.


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