AUGUSTA, Maine — A New York man on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to murder charges in connection with the slaying of two Augusta residents in Manchester.

David Marble Jr., 29, of Rochester, New York, also pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person during his arraignment at the Capital Judicial Center, according to Timothy Feeley, spokesman for the state attorney general’s office.

The charges stem from the deaths of Eric Williams, 35, and Bonnie Royer, 26, who were shot inside their SUV early Christmas morning 2015 along Sanford Road in Manchester.

Marble was arrested on Dec. 29 after a car he was a passenger in was stopped by Augusta police near the State Street rotary in Augusta. He then was taken to the Maine State Police offices on Hospital Street for questioning, and there, he was charged with two counts of murder.

Detectives said at the time that the shootings were drug-related and that Marble recently had been living in an apartment house at 28 Sewall St.

Williams and Royer lived together on Easy Street in Augusta, less than a mile from where the vehicle was found on the side of Sanford Road, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said at the time. Sanford Road is a dirt road near a number of sand and gravel pits. There are no houses in the immediate area.

One of the victims called 911 about 3:30 a.m. Dec. 25, McCausland said.

Marble has a criminal history in New York, according to the Office of Court Administration in the New York State Unified Court System.

He was convicted in 2006 and 2009 of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Both times he served sentences of less than six months. In 2010, Marble was convicted of third degree robbery and sentenced to two to four years of probation.

At the time of his arrest in Maine, Marble was wanted in connection with a July 2015 hit-and-run in Rochester, New York, that left a pedestrian seriously injured, Rochester police said late last year.

“Marble is facing charges of second-degree assault, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident with serious physical injury, third-degree aggravated unauthorized operation of a motor vehicle, and various other traffic citations,” Jacqueline Shuman, the information officer for the Rochester police, said in a news release in late December.

Marble was driving a 2000 Acura sedan without a license on July 18 when he allegedly struck Currie Clanton, 51, of Rochester on Upper Falls Boulevard, then left, according to a police accident report filed with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

Clanton suffered a cracked pelvis, a broken leg, damaged hips and brain damage, a Rochester newspaper reported in November.

If convicted of the murders in Maine, Marble faces between 29 years, because of the alleged use of a firearm, and life in prison.

Since his arrest, Marble has been held without bail at Kennebec County Jail.

BDN writer Judy Harrison contributed to this report.