ELLSWORTH, Maine — A carpenter accused of killing an accountant he worked for and then driving the victim's car and raiding his bank accounts of nearly $180,000 was convicted of murder on Friday.
Prosecutors said William Morse, 45, earned the nickname "hundred dollar Bill" for leaving hundred-dollar tips at bars after killing 61-year-old Richard Bellittieri, an accountant from Trenton.
Bellitteiri was shot several times, including twice in the head, before his body was buried with some potting soil and several logs on his property, the state's chief medical examiner testified.
Law enforcement officials said Morse siphoned money from Bellittieri's bank accounts, drove the victim's car and even presented himself as the victim. An investigation was launched when Bellittieri's identification, credit cards and Social Security card were discovered with Morse when he was arrested for drunken driving.
Jurors deliberated less than two hours before returning a guilty verdict.
Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese told jurors that Morse "had it down to a science," contending he started spending the victim's money on the same day the victim was killed in the summer of 2012.
Morse, who was arrested a year later on Aug. 1, 2013, spent the accountant's money on two cars, an Audi and a VW, along with a hot tub, motorcycles and a snowmobile, Marchese said.
"This guy is more than just a con artist, someone who does identity theft. He's somebody who also resorts to violence. In what order, we'll never know," Marchese said.
The defense contended prosecutors couldn't prove when Bellittieri died, the circumstances of his death, or the triggerman.
Defense lawyer David Bate contended prosecutors failed to connect the dots. "There's substantial circumstantial evidence here but they still don't have the hard proof," he told WNSX-FM.
The two men met after Bellittieri posted an ad on Craigslist seeking help building a duplex.
Morse chose not to testify in his own defense, and the defense called no witnesses.
All content copyright ©2015 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.