Raymond Lester of Portland, at left, appears by video with his attorney Steven Juskewitch from the Hancock County Jail during a court hearing on Wednesday, July 27, 2022. Lester is charged with murder on allegations that he ran over and killed Nicole Mokeme last month at Schoodic Point in Acadia National Park. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

Raymond Lester, a Portland man accused of killing his girlfriend by running her over with his car in Acadia National Park, was indicted Thursday by a Hancock County grand jury.

Lester, 35, is facing a charge of intentional or knowing murder.

Police say Lester ran over Nicole Mokeme, 35, of South Portland late on the evening of June 18 at the Schoodic Education and Research Center. Mokeme, the founder and creative director for Rise and Shine Youth Retreat, was leading a retreat for Black Mainers at the former Navy base campus, on the eastern side of Frenchman Bay at Schoodic Point.

Lester was staying with Mokeme in a bunkroom during the retreat and, according to a police affidavit, seemed to be having relationship problems with Mokeme. Witnesses told police that he was drinking vodka, playing loud music and driving fast around the Schoodic campus, and at one point sat in his car and made “shooting” gestures with his finger at a group gathered around a fire pit.

Mokeme’s body was found early the next morning on a paved walking path on the research center campus, next to tire tracks and pieces of hard black plastic that appeared to have come from Lester’s black BMW X3.

No one saw the incident, but police quickly identified Lester as a suspect. Neither Lester nor his vehicle could be found, but, after a month-long search, he was located and arrested in Cancun, Mexico.

Lester was brought back to Maine and has been held without bail at Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth.

If found guilty of murder, Lester could face a sentence of 25 years to life behind bars.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....