AUBURN — A Lewiston teen charged as a juvenile in the death of 38-year-old Donald Giusti near Kennedy Park in Lewiston last year was indicted Tuesday as an adult on related charges.

Emmanuel Nkurunziza Androscoggin County Jail

An Androscoggin County grand jury handed up charges of manslaughter and aggravated assault against Emmanuel Nkurunziza, 18, who is living with his parents who moved to Biddeford recently.

Arraignment and a bail hearing are scheduled for next week.

Nkurunziza was arrested by state police in April and charged with manslaughter as a juvenile. Eighth District Court Judge Rick Lawrence held a three-day hearing in July to determine whether there was probable cause for the charge and to hear arguments over whether the teen should be bound over from juvenile court to adult court. Lawrence ruled in September that Nkurunziza should be tried as an adult.

Nkurunziza turned 17 about a month before the June 12, 2018, nighttime melee on Knox Street when Giusti was apparently struck by a rock and knocked to the pavement. He died three days later from blunt-force trauma to his head and torso, according to a medical examiner.

Witnesses said a group of largely Somali youths clashed that night around 10:30 p.m. with more than a dozen white men, including Giusti, who had congregated in Kennedy Park.


Police said Nkurunziza admitted to having thrown a rock but hadn’t seen where it landed. A witness has said he saw Nkurunziza throw the rock and saw it hit Giusti on the head. Two police officers who viewed videos of the scene that night identified Nkurunziza as the person who threw an object that appeared to have felled Giusti.

Nkurunziza had been staying in a Brunswick home with church friends of his family, but the friends were no longer able to keep him due to unrelated family circumstances, according to his attorney, Allan Lobozzo.

Nkurunziza’s parents had lived in downtown Lewiston, close to Giusti’s family.

Judge Lawrence had been reluctant to release the teen into his parents’ custody at that location, citing concerns for his and the community’s safety.

Last month, Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy ruled that the teen be allowed to live with his parents in an apartment in Biddeford where he must continue to be supervised by an independent agency, wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and be confined to house arrest.

Lobozzo had urged the judge to allow Nkurunziza to leave his home for work, educational pursuits and programs. He also sought to have the judge drop the requirement that Nkurunziza be electronically monitored.

But Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea argued that the monitoring should continue to keep a check on Nkurunziza’s whereabouts.

Those arguments are expected to be taken up at Nkurunziza’s bail hearing next week in a Portland courtroom after his arraignment.

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