Shane Hall appears in Cumberland County Superior Court on Friday for his arraignment with attorneys Justin Andrus, left, and Andrew Wright. Hall is charged with one count of murder in connection with the 2008 death of Frank Williams. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

A man who was charged with murder last year in connection with a 15-year-old case in Portland has pleaded not guilty.

Shane Hall, 36, and Khang Tran, 30, were indicted in December after police said they believed both men were responsible for the death of 37-year-old Frank Williams in 2008.

Frank A. Williams, III Courtesy FBI

Williams was stabbed near Kennedy Park just before 2 a.m. on Aug. 16, 2008, by three men whom he likely knew, police said. But it took more than a decade to track down two of the three suspects, both of whom have criminal histories in Maine.

Hall is already serving a 15-year sentence in state prison for kidnapping a Rockland woman in 2017. His earliest release date for that conviction is January 2029.

Superior Court Justice Deborah Cashman ordered that Hall be held on the murder charge without bail, “in case his circumstances should change.”

Tran’s charges were dropped in January because prosecutors realized he would have only been 15 at the time of Williams’ death and could only be charged under Maine’s juvenile code. A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office did not respond to an email Friday afternoon asking if prosecutors are pursuing charges in juvenile court.


Tran is serving a four-year sentence in Maine for criminal conspiracy in the the 2012 death of Matthew Blanchard in Portland after spending time in a federal prison in Louisiana on unrelated drug charges.

Police and prosecutors have not said whether they’re still investigating a third suspect.

Hall’s attorneys, Andrew Wright and Justin Andrus, said after his arraignment in Cumberland County Superior Court on Friday that there’s a lot of information in Hall’s case and they could take it to trial.

Williams was the father of a 1-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son when he died.

He had worked on commercial fishing boats for much of his life but his family and former girlfriend told told the Portland Press Herald in 2008 that he  struggled with substance use. Police have said that might have played a role in the attack against him.

Originally, police had believed Williams could have been killed by a mob of young men after one witness told police he had seen a crowd chasing a man across the Fox Street soccer field toward Kennedy Park.


Police said days later that the witness had misconstrued events and they did not believe this was a random act of violence.

Months before police announced the charges against Hall and Tran last year, the FBI announced a $10,000 reward for anyone who could help convict someone in Williams’ case.

Investigators and Williams’ family wanted any information that could lead to arrests – and closure.

“I am 71 years old and I would love to see someone held responsible for my son Frankie’s death,” Williams’ father said in a statement from police last year. “It has been almost 15 years and it is not fair.”

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