AUGUSTA — The murder trial of a New York state man accused of killing an Augusta couple in the early hours of Dec. 25, 2015, has been scheduled for next July.

In the meantime, David W. Marble Jr. and his attorneys will be able to learn what inducement was offered to Timothy Bragg, who police say drove Marble on the night of the shooting in Manchester, as well as the identity of an informant who police say saw Bragg buy two handguns for Marble.

Marble, 30, allegedly killed Eric Williams, 35, and Bonnie Royer, 26, as revenge for a burglary tied intricately to illegal drugs and firearms dealings. They were shot to death about 3:30 a.m. as they sat in a Chevrolet Trailblazer on Sanford Road in Manchester.

Justice Michaela Murphy granted a motion Tuesday to try Marble separately on a charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Attorneys for Marble had argued that the charge would indicate Marble’s prior felony convictions in Monroe County, New York, which might unduly prejudice the jury.

Marble, of Rochester, New York, was present for Tuesday’s hearing at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta. He has pleaded not guilty to the murder charges and the firearm possession charge.

An affidavit seeking an arrest warrant for Marble, filed by Maine State Police Detective Christopher A. Tremblay, outlined the case against Marble that led to the indictments against him.

Marble said he believed that Williams, along with three other people, had robbed Marble’s apartment on Sewall Street in Augusta shortly after midnight, stealing televisions, backpacks, a gun and drugs while Marble was being driven to the Portland area and back on a drug run. After the stolen items were taken to a home on Ridge Road in Augusta, Williams was dropped off at his house on Easy Street by one of the other perpetrators, according to the affidavit.

The woman involved in the burglary, one of the three people the affidavit says accompanied Williams to Sewall Street, said Royer called her later to say Marble called Williams and said he had been “cleaned out.”

Other people, including an unnamed informant – identified to defense attorneys in judge’s chambers Tuesday – told police that Williams had been working for Marble. They said Williams was supposed to collect Marble’s money from another drug dealer nicknamed “2Tall” on Dec. 23, but failed to bring it to Marble’s apartment.

The affidavit also says Marble arranged to buy two handguns, including a 9 mm Smith & Wesson, that same day, paying cash for them and giving heroin to the people who went to get them for him. It says a Sig Sauer had been bought for Marble a day earlier under the same arrangement.

Marble, Williams and Royer, who was not implicated in the theft from Marble’s apartment, met in the early hours of Dec. 25 in Manchester not far from where Williams and Royer were living in Augusta, according to the affidavit and phone records obtained by search warrants. Police responded to Royer’s 911 call for help at 3:34 a.m. When they arrived, they found Williams behind the wheel of his SUV and Royer in the passenger seat. Both had been shot in the head and both were dead.

Marble was arrested on Dec. 29, after a car he was riding in was stopped in Augusta. He was indicted in February by the Kennebec County grand jury.

Murphy set the trial date for July 17, 2017, to last as long as two weeks. Jury selection is expected on July 13 and 14.

In August, Marble, who is being held in the Kennebec County jail, was found guilty of terrorizing after he threatened a corrections officer at the jail; he was sentenced to serve 45 days.

While still in New York state, Marble was convicted of robbery and criminal possession of a controlled substance, both felonies.