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Opening statements of John Williams trial

John Williams is accused of shooting and killing Somerset County Sheriff's Deputy Eugene Cole in April 2018.

PORTLAND, Maine — John Williams, the man accused of murdering beloved Somerset County Sheriff's Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole, will appear in Cumberland County Court Monday morning.

Opening statements in the much-anticipated trial are expected to start at 9 a.m. 

WARNING: The court may show images some find disturbing during the live stream. 

Williams' attorney, Verne Paradie, said he plans to argue for a manslaughter charge in the case insisting that it cannot be proven that he intended to kill Cole.

Williams has pleaded not guilty.

Paradie has long insisted his client was under the influence of drugs and struggling with addiction when he allegedly shot Cole and led police on a massive four-day manhunt in April 2018. 

Police say Williams confessed to the killing.

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A judge ruled that only the first 90 minutes of that confession can be used at trial after Paradie tried to argue that the arresting officers beat the confession out of Williams.

Last week more than 300 people went through the jury selection process in Cumberland County after the case was moved to ensure impartiality. 12 jurors and three alternates were selected.

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If convicted, Williams could face upwards of 25 years to life in prison.

The trial is scheduled to last two weeks.

Cole was 61 years old.