Trial begins for New York man accused of beating Augusta man to death

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The trial of a New York man accused of beating an Augusta man to death began Tuesday.

29-year-old Aubrey Armstrong is charged with murder and robbery.

Four people were arrested for the murder of 31-year-old Joseph Marceau.

His body was found in an Augusta apartment in November of 2015.

Prosecutors say his feet and hands were bound as he was punched, stomped and beaten to death with a survey stick.

One of the suspects killed herself in jail while two others reached plea agreements and are expected to testify against Armstrong.

He initially fled the state and was arrested in Queens in 2016.

In court Tuesday, prosecutors say Marceau sold drugs to support his own drug habit, and Armstrong and others hatched a plan to rob Marceau of his heroin and money.

"You will hear that even after giving up the drugs, Armstrong didn't stop, but rather he continued to strike Joe repeatedly until he was incapacitated," said Assistant Attorney General John Nathans.

Armstrong waived his right to a jury trial, so a judge is hearing the case.

His defense did not make an opening statement in court Tuesday, and has opted to give it later.

The trial continues Wednesday.