LEWISTON — Before Jaquille Coleman was accused of shooting and killing Natasha Morgan last week, he had been already charged with several violent crimes in Lewiston.
Coleman was awaiting trial on charges dating back to 2019 when he was accused of kicking in a woman’s door and assaulting two people inside the home.
According to court records, on Dec. 4, 2019, Coleman kicked in the door to an ex-girlfriend’s house and assaulted a man there while threatening the woman and attempting to coerce her into withholding information about one of Coleman’s earlier crimes.
In connection with that incident, Coleman was charged with burglary, tampering with a witness, domestic violence, assault and violating conditions of release.
Coleman was scheduled to stand trial on those charges in February of 2021. Then, police say, last Friday he fired two gunshots into the chest of Natasha Morgan, his 19-year-old ex-girlfriend, killing her.
Police say Coleman fled to Mississippi, where investigators from several agencies tracked him down on Thursday.
On Friday, Coleman was being held in a Hancock County, Mississippi, jail on a murder charge. He is expected to be returned to Maine to face charges of killing Morgan as well as the earlier, pending charges against him.
In Lewiston District Court, the murder complaint against Coleman was sealed and not available to the press.
Coleman’s legal issues in Lewiston date back to 2018, when he was charged with making lewd, menacing comments to a female store clerk who had accused him of cutting in line.
In that case, Coleman was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass. He was later convicted on the disorderly conduct charge.
Later in 2018, he was charged with punching another man in the face, although a charge of assault was later dismissed and Coleman was again convicted of disorderly conduct.
At that time, Coleman listed an address at 73 College St. in Lewiston. According to his Facebook profile, he came to Maine from Alabama and studied medicine in Vermont along the way.
Police are still investigating how Coleman managed to get out of Lewiston and travel to Mississippi while a massive police manhunt was underway. Some people close to the case say there are indications Coleman was in contact with an ex-girlfriend while he was on the lam.
After Morgan was shot in a Scribner Boulevard driveway last Friday, witnesses said Coleman fled in a gray Chevrolet Cruz, a car that was later found parked on the dead-end portion of Farwell Street a mile and a half away.
It was not immediately clear when Coleman will be returned to Maine to face murder charges.
Morgan’s family members have described Coleman as an abusive boyfriend from whom Natasha had been trying to escape. The couple had a baby together — a baby who was at the Scribner Boulevard home when Coleman allegedly shot and killed her mother.
Since the killing, the community has rallied around the Morgan family, raising money through GoFundMe and donating various items — diapers, food, gift cards — to help Morgan’s child and the rest of the family.