AUGUSTA — An Augusta couple charged in the November murder of an Augusta man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder charges at the Capital Judicial Center.

Zina Marie Fritze, 27, and Michael Sean McQuade, 45, are charged with the murder of 31-year-old Joseph Marceau inside the couple’s Washington Street apartment. Fritze and McQuade, in separate arraignments, pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder, felony murder and robbery in what police said Monday was a “drug related” crime.

Indictments against the pair, which were handed up Friday by a grand jury in Kennebec County, were sealed until Monday.

Justice Daniel Billings ordered Fritze and McQuade held without bail. Both waived bail hearings until a later date.

Fritze and McQuade are the second and third people charged in the killing of Marceau. Damik Davis, 25, of Queens, New York, was arrested on Nov. 23, 2015, the day police found the body of Marceau on the fourth floor of the apartment building. Davis is being held without bail in the Kennebec County jail.

Fritze, who also has used the last names McQuade and LoPresti, and McQuade were arrested Friday on alleged probation violations. Each was told of the indictments on Monday, just prior to making initial appearances via video on the probation violation charges.


Marceau’s family members, flanked by representatives of Parents of Murdered Children, there for support, gathered on one side of the courtroom for Tuesday’s arraignments.

Both hearings, separated by about 20 minutes, took less than 10 minutes.

Fritze, arraigned during the first hearing, shuffled into the courtroom moments before the hearing, the brushing of her leg chains breaking the silence. Portions of her shoulder-blade tattoos were visible from the top of her orange jail jump suit. Fritze, thin, her hair cut short, looked around the courtroom pensively and then rested her head on her folded arms on the table in front of her while awaiting the hearing.

Represented by Darrick Banda and Henry Beck, she spoke little during the arraignment.

“Not guilty, sir,” Fritze answered when Billings asked for her plea.

Billings began the hearing by addressing a concern created by Beck’s mother, who is a superior court justice who occasionally works in Kennebec County. Billings said the situation had the appearance of a conflict of interest. Fritze said she had been told about the connection and agreed to continue as Beck’s client.


“The court’s view of this is that there is not actually any conflict,” Billings said.

McQuade, also thin and wearing a jail jump suit, arrived in the courtroom a few moments before his hearing. Taking a seat at the table, McQuade turned nervously in his chair before turning all the way around to survey the room, in the process making eye contact with Marceau’s family. McQuade turned back toward the bench, rested his elbow on the chair’s handle, and gently stroked his neatly bearded chin with his fingers.

Michael Sean McQuade appeared Tuesday at Kennebec County Superior Court to plead not guilty to charges of murder, felony murder, and robbery.

Michael Sean McQuade appeared Tuesday at Kennebec County Superior Court to plead not guilty to charges of murder, felony murder, and robbery.

McQuade, like Fritze, waived the reading of the complaint against him.

“Not guilty,” he said when Billings asked for his plea.

McQuade, represented during the hearing by Andrew Dawson, waived a bail hearing until an attorney is permanently assigned to his case.

Documents in the case against Davis were sealed by a judge at the state’s request, so there is no indication how Marceau was killed. Marceau lived in an apartment on Winthrop Street about a mile from where his body was discovered. Neighbors in the Washington Street apartment building said they heard a series of noises emanating from the apartment occupied by McQuade and Fritze, and records indicate the two were being evicted from their apartment.


The only charges available earlier Monday against Fritze indicated she was charged with two counts of receiving stolen property and one count of misuse of identification. Attorney William Baghdoyan, who was appointed to represent her on those charges, said she was set for a hearing on March 22. Baghdoyan, however, said Monday that he no longer represents defendants on murder charges.

A judge signed a warrant for Fritze’s arrest on Jan. 15 after the state sought to revoke Fritze’s pre-conviction bail on an allegation that she was involved in a number of car burglaries.

McQuade too had been out on bail as well on one count of burglary, six counts of burglary of a motor vehicle and seven counts of theft. According to a series of summonses issued by Augusta police, the vehicles were burglarized on River, Washington, and Water streets as well as Julianne Lane and Northern Avenue Nov. 6-11, 2015.

McQuade was later charged with theft by deception for apparently taking merchandise from Kmart and from Target and attempting to return it to get cash.

Police had questioned Fritze and McQuade two days after Marceau’s body was found, but released them without charges.

A conviction for murder carries a minimum 25 years in prison without the possibility of release or parole.

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