BANGOR — Rory Holland decided Tuesday not to testify in his own defense, ending testimony in his murder trial. The case could go to the jury today in the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Holland, 56, is charged with murdering 21-year-old Derek Greene and his brother, 19-year-old Gage Greene, in Biddeford on June 30, 2009. The former Biddeford mayoral candidate, who has been incarcerated since the slayings, claims he shot the men in self-defense.

Holland’s attorney, Clifford Strike, told Justice Roland Cole on Tuesday that Holland’s decision not to take the stand had long been under consideration and wasn’t made lightly. The defense rested its case at noon.

Closing arguments are scheduled for this morning, after which the case will go to the jury for deliberation.

It is Holland’s constitutional right not to testify, and Cole will instruct the jury today not to infer anything from that decision.

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese has prosecuted the case for the state. The prosecution rested Monday afternoon after presenting five days of testimony from various witnesses.

Marchese has argued to the jury that Holland did not like the Greene brothers and was intent on shooting them. If he hadn’t been, she has argued, he would not have been standing outside his home at 1 a.m. that day with a loaded gun.

The trial began Oct. 25. It is being held in Penobscot County at the request of Holland’s attorneys, who contended that he is too well-known to get a fair trial in York County.

The trial has included contradictory testimony from eyewitnesses who admitted to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana before the shooting.

Testimony has revealed an intense feud between Holland, the Greene brothers and their friends, most of whom lived in the same small neighborhood in 2009.

Holland, an African-American man living in mostly white Biddeford, was known for filing complaints and accusations of racial discrimination. He ran for mayor twice, and sued the city, including the police department. In the 1970s, when he lived in Kansas, he was convicted of the attempted murder of his 16-month-old daughter.

The feud between Holland, the Greene brothers and their friends apparently escalated in mid-May 2009, when Derek Greene accused Holland of groping him while he was visiting Holland’s home.

After that, Derek Greene, Danny Rydle and Elijah Copeland visited Holland’s home, and Derek Greene assaulted him in retaliation, according to testimony from Rydle and Copeland.

Derek Greene and Copeland were arrested that night and ordered to stay away from Holland. The state has presented testimony that Copeland and Derek Greene complied with their bail conditions, and wanted no further trouble with him.

But the defense, led by Strike, has tried to show jurors that Holland was routinely harassed by the Greene brothers and their friends, and that he feared for his life.

On the night of the slayings, a party was under way at Gage Greene’s apartment, just two doors from Holland’s home. The guests at that party, many of whom saw the shootings, have admitted that they were under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time and have given conflicting reports.

The state says Derek and Gage Greene were walking home from a friend’s apartment around 1 a.m. on the day of the shootings when they saw Holland standing outside his home. Gage Greene crossed the street, confronted Holland and told him to get inside his house.

Gage Greene then pushed Holland, according to testimony, and Holland pulled a gun out of his waistband and shot him in the chest. Greene died almost immediately.

Derek Greene ran toward his brother and Holland, and was shot three times. He died en route to Maine Medical Center in Portland.
Testimony has been consistent that neither of the Greene brothers was armed.