ELLSWORTH — A 38-year-old North Sullivan man pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of murder and robbery in connection with last year’s bludgeoning death of Wilfred Gibeault.
Justice Robert L. Browne in Hancock County Superior Court on Wednesday continued the case for sentencing until the first week of May. Should the court accept a plea agreement, Arnold F. Nash would serve no more than 45 years in prison and his attorneys would be free to argue for less jail time.
Jeffrey J. Hjelm, assistant attorney general, told the court that the state would have called a dozen witnesses to testify in the Gibeault case. The body of the 58-year-old North Sullivan man was found inside a Hicks Road cabin with his head bashed in on March 8, 1991, by his son and daughter-in-law.
Formerly of New Bedford, Mass., Gibeault had lived in North Sullivan for about two months in a cabin he occasionally shared with Roger Martin. Police believe Gibeault was killed between 6 p.m. March 7 and 11 a.m. March 8.
Nash pleaded guilty to robbing Gibeault of $1,400 in cash the victim received each month from the Veterans Administration. A .22-caliber handgun, some synthetic diamond rings and articles of clothing were stolen from Gibeault’s residence.
According to information provided to police by Jackie Pinkham of Ellsworth, who said she gave Nash a ride to the Bangor Greyhound, Nash was trying to conceal a large roll of cash that day and was secretive about his travel plans.
He allegedly told her he did not want anyone to know where he was going. After spending the evening at the Brewer Motor Inn under the name of Rodney Blair, Nash left the area and was not seen again until March 22 when he was arrested by Bucksport Patrolman Jay Durost.
Durost arrested Nash, who claimed he was Randy Combs, as he was hitchhiking on U.S. Route 1 toward Ellsworth after recognizing him from a police poster.
Represented by Pat Larson and Julio DeSanctis III, Nash spoke in muted tones during the proceeding which ended in an exit interview with officials from the state Division of Probation and Parole.
Nash has been held without bail since his arraignment on the charges and was taken back to the Maine State Prison in Thomaston to await sentencing next month.