A man has pleaded guilty to felony murder in the death of a Portland-area resident in 2011.

Abdi Awad, 37, is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 12, according to a schedule from the Office of the Maine Attorney General.

Awad was nearing the end of an 18-year sentence for elevated aggravated assault in August 2021 when he was indicted on one count of intentional or knowing murder in the death of Allen MacLean.

Abdi Awad

MacLean died after he was shot in the chest near Massachusetts Avenue and Congress Street early in the morning on Aug. 1, 2011. He was 41 years old, a longtime Portland-area resident who loved the outdoors, playing basketball, and poetry, according to his obituary.

Police had been investigating MacLean’s death for 10 years.

Under his original charge, Awad faced a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison. But felony murder – involving a death that’s caused while a person is committing or trying to commit a felony, such as robbery, burglary, or kidnapping – carries more lenient sentencing guidelines, with a maximum of 30 years and the possibility of early release.


A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office confirmed Friday that Awad entered his plea on Aug. 28.

It’s unclear whether Awad is still at the Maine State Prison or whether he’s been transferred to a county jail.

On Aug. 1, 2011, witnesses told police they heard a loud pop at 4:20 a.m. before they saw MacLean running across Congress Street, yelling, “I’m dying, I’m dying!”

Allen MacLean Portland Police Department

MacLean collapsed in front of a gas station before paramedics arrived and pronounced him dead at the scene.

Police later said they suspected MacLean was shot in an alley outside a three-story apartment building, where there had been a party on the first floor earlier in the evening. MacLean did not live in that building.

Police said in 2011 they recovered a handgun from the shooting scene.


A decade later, prosecutors alleged that Awad shot and killed MacLean with a .380 Auto Kel-Tec, according to his indictment.

It’s unclear whether Awad and MacLean knew each other, or why Awad would have shot MacLean. There is no arrest affidavit for Awad, who was indicted while already at the prison.

It’s also unclear how police connected Awad to MacLean’s death.

Awad’s attorney Verne Paradie did not respond to an email and a voicemail left with his office Saturday.

Three days after MacLean was shot, Awad was indicted on charges related to a bouncer’s stabbing at Morill’s Corner in March 2011. He was later convicted of elevated aggravated assault.

It took police three weeks to find Awad. Federal agents arrested him in Sierra Blanca, Texas, about 80 miles from Juarez, Mexico.


Awad was sentenced in October 2012 to serve 18 years of a 25-year sentence for that stabbing.

At his sentencing, Awad sobbed before Superior Justice Roland Cole. He told Cole he had been hanging around the wrong crowd, and that he had let his family down and hurt people.

“I blew it, Your Honor,” he said to Cole in court. “I wish I did what I was supposed to when I had a chance.”

His defense attorney at the time said Awad had a difficult upbringing but that people knew him as caring and family-oriented.

Prosecutors countered that Awad was dangerous. Citing recordings from Awad’s phone calls at the jail, they alleged he was asking friends to intimidate witnesses of the stabbing. Awad’s lawyer disputed this, saying prosecutors were mischaracterizing what they had heard.

Awad had stabbed the bouncer, Donald Brown, twice in the back. In a letter to the court, Brown wrote that hospital staff told him he was lucky the injuries hadn’t paralyzed him.

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