A 56-year old man accused of beating a homeless man to death in the woods by I-95 in Bangor Sunday, made his first court appearance today. Stephen James looked flustered, as the judge asked him if he understood the charges against him. James is charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of 63-year old Clyde Worster.
Assistant attorney general Andrew Benson described James as having an extensive criminal history that includes burglary and assault, and that he’d been in and out of prison for the last 26 years.
According to a court affidavit, witnesses told police the two men had spent Sunday drinking with a group of transients in an area called ":The Pines":.
Several witnesses claim to have seen James and Worster argue. One witness says James threatened Worster saying ":You don’t know what pain is untilI get a hold of you.":. Worster then went off to another campsite.
Later in the day, James told the group he saw three black men attacking Worster. When the group went to help Worster, they found him dead. Some witnesses say James removed a cigarette from the pocket of Worster’s dead body.
Police say James later confessed he had originally gone back to the campsite to apologize to Worster, but Worster called James a punk, so James got mad and ":blacked out":.
The medical examiner’s office says Worster died of blunt force trauma to the head and a broken neck. A judge set bail for James at $50,000 cash.
If convicted, James could face a maximum of 30 years in prison.