Tyon Shuron, left, listens Monday as a state prosecutor presents closing arguments in Shuron’s murder trial at Sagadahoc County Superior Court in Bath. Shuron is accused of killing Andrew Sherman in 2019 at Sherman’s home in Richmond. Jessica Lowell/Kennebec Journal

BATH — After six days in court, a jury began to deliberate Monday afternoon on whether Tyon Shuron is guilty of murder and two other crimes.

Shuron, 46, of Augusta is accused of killing Andrew Sherman at Sherman’s home in Richmond in the early hours of Sept. 29, 2019.

Jennifer Ackerman, assistant attorney general, addressed the jury in Sagadahoc County Superior Court in Bath on Monday, tying together physical and electronic evidence gathered in the months following Sherman’s death.

Prosecutors say Shuron went to great lengths to eliminate any indication he had traveled with his girlfriend, Chanda Lilly, to Richmond on that night for a fatal confrontation over explicit photographs Sherman had taken of Lilly.

They also drew a picture of Shuron as a man who manipulated Lilly during the course of their relationship. It was only after they were separated that Lilly told police what had happened on the night of Sherman’s death.

Shuron’s defense lawyer, on the other hand, cast doubt on Lilly’s testimony, challenging the reliability of her memory in light of her mental health diagnoses.

In addition to the murder charge, Shuron has also been charged with felony murder — causing a death during an attempt to rob, murder or commit other crimes — and witness tampering, for his communications to Lilly while they were being held at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

In her closing arguments Monday morning, Ackerman showed how Sherman was linked to Lilly via her account with Model Mayhem, an online platform connecting models and photographers. And in turn, the account linked Lilly to Shuron. 

The investigation showed that after the murder, Lilly changed her account information at Model Mayhem, and she and Shuron changed the numbers they used in the texting app TextNow.
Ackerman said Shuron also looked up information on how to delete location data, among other steps to obscure his electronic presence. 
She highlighted for the jury the information that backed up Lilly’s testimony. 
Ackerman said Shuron had taken pains to establish an alibi with Lilly on the night of the murder through text messages and in the exchange of notes in jail.
“He put himself with her, and we know what she was doing,” Ackerman said.
In March, Lilly pleaded guilty to a robbery charge tied to Sherman’s death and agreed to testify against Shuron.
In his closing argument, defense lawyer Darrick X. Banda underscored the prosecution’s reliance on Lilly and her unreliable accounts of what happened a little more than four years ago.
He said Lilly testified she has schizoaffective disorder bipolar type and that she said she had hallucinations.
With testimony from witnesses, Banda showed Lilly has not always taken her prescribed medication, despite her claiming she had.
Using audio clips of interviews with detectives, Banda pointed out instances when what Lilly had said in court differed from what she had told officials.
“When is she lying and when is she telling the truth?” Banda said. “Is she ever telling the truth?”

Banda said Shuron acted stupidly in exchanging jail letters with Lilly and giving her legal advice to take back what she had told investigators. 

“He loves this woman to a fault,” Banda said. “It could be considered witness tampering, but he had intended to help her, even to his own detriment.” 
Banda also cautioned jurors to distinguish between circumstantial evidence and assumptions, noting that no forensic or physical evidence exists that can link Shuron to Sherman’s murder. 
In her rebuttal, Ackerman reminded jurors of the evidence presented during the trial.
“To believe it was someone else, you’d have to believe Chanda Lilly decides to go to Richmond to commit a home invasion homicide with someone else,” Ackerman said. “It’s not supported by the evidence, common sense or what was presented to you.”
Three alternate jurors were dismissed and the jury of five women and seven men began deliberations shortly after 2:15 p.m.

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