Lewiston man charged in Poland with double murder held without bail

Aaron Aldrich of Lewiston stands Monday in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn, accompanied by his attorney, Thomas Carey, to argue that he should be allowed bail in a case in which he is charged with two counts of murder. Christopher Williams/Sun Journal

AUBURN – A judge on Monday ordered a Lewiston man held without bail pending trial after concluding there was enough evidence to charge him with two murders at a home in Poland last year.

After reviewing a police affidavit detailing witness statements as well as physical evidence collected by law enforcement, Androscoggin County Superior Court Judge Jennifer Archer said she found probable cause to support the two counts of intentional or knowing murder against 47-year-old Aaron Aldrich.

He was indicted by a grand jury in April 2023 in the fatal shootings of Shoeb Mohamed Adan, 21, of Springfield, Mass., and Mohamed Aden, 16, of Lewiston.

The two victims were found on February 21, 2023 by Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office deputies who were dispatched to a mobile home at 205 Tripp Road in Poland for a welfare check.

Aldrich’s lead defense attorney, Thomas Carey, sought to cross-examine a witness in the case, Aldrich’s ex-girlfriend, who had been interviewed by police shortly after the victims were found.

According to a police affidavit, Brandi Frost, 34, of Lewiston told investigators that Aldrich gave her a bag of bloody clothes and a gun to throw away after the killings.

Frost appeared in court Monday, but her attorney advised the judge that his client planned to invoke her 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.

After conferring in judges’ chambers with attorneys from both sides, Judge Archer concluded that there was no reason for Frost to take the witness stand.

Archer said there were three areas Carey had planned to question Frost under oath, including her interviews with detectives.

Frost was expected to invoke the 5th Amendment when questioned in all of those categories, Archer said.

Because Archer found probable cause to support the murder charges, Aldrich was not eligible for bail.

Archer could have granted Aldrich bail at her discretion unless prosecutors could show that Aldrich was likely to fail to appear in court or that he posed a danger to someone else or the community, or that he would be likely to commit another crime if released.

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Bogue told the judge that Aldrich was prohibited from possessing a gun at the time of the alleged shooting, was out on bond and had outstanding warrants for his arrest.

In Androscoggin County, Aldrich was facing four felony counts, including escape, but all charging him with violating the conditions of his prison release, she said.

Bogue said Aldrich faces eight criminal charges in Cumberland County, including assault on a police officer.

Carey countered that most of Aldrich’s criminal record showed nonviolent offenses.

“From day one, Mr. Aldrich has maintained his innocence,” Carey said during the shooting.

Carey said Aldrich never made any confessions to authorities and that the witnesses who pointed the finger at him were not reliable.

The defense is investigating alternate suspects in the Poland shootings, Carey said.

Aldrich’s incarceration limited his ability to help with the defense, Carey said.

Carey moved that bail be set at $500 cash.

Archer denied Aldrich bail.

She said she plans to hold hearings later this month on motions that include Aldrich’s argument that the trial be moved out of Androscoggin County.

The trial is tentatively scheduled for September.

Officers discovered Aden’s body on the living room floor and Adan’s body on the floor of another room, according to a nine-page affidavit written by a Maine police detective.

Aden appeared to have been shot in the arm, back and chest. Spent casings from what appeared to be a 9mm handgun were found near the body; shell casings that appeared to be of the same caliber were found near Adan’s body.

A medical examiner would later rule that the two victims died of gunshot wounds.

Frost told police she broke up with Aldrich on February 21, 2023.

She said he left her home on February 20, 2023 at around 10pm and did not return until midnight on February 21, “acting paranoid and looking out the windows” and appeared to have blood on one of his shoes and a cut on his wrist, according to the affidavit.

Aldrich sold the two victims an electric generator that was owned by Frost on Feb. 19, the affidavit states.

Victims complained that it didn’t work. When Aldrich went to the Poland home to confront the victims, one of them had a gun, and Aldrich shot him, fearing he would be shot, he told a witness, claiming self-defense, the affidavit states liability.

Aldrich allegedly shot the second victim because she “couldn’t leave him,” a witness told police.

Aldrich told the witness that the victims had planned to hire him to “take somebody out,” according to the affidavit.

But when Aldrich learned the intended target was a woman with a child, he apparently refused, the witness told police.

He was later captured in New Hampshire.