A man who killed his ex-girlfriend in Acadia Park by hitting her with his car received a lengthy prison sentence today.

When Did This Happen?

Nicole Mokeme, 35, was struck and killed during the overnight hours in mid-June 2022. The incident happened on the campus of the Schoodic Education and Research Center in Winter Harbor where she was attending a retreat. Mokeme was the founder and Creative Director of the Rise and Shine Youth Retreat, which is a rejuvenation center for the enrichment and liberation of black people in Maine and beyond. The person driving the car took off and police began looking for a black BMW X3 SUV that belonged to Mokeme's ex-boyfriend, Raymond Lester of Portland.

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As the days wore on with no sign of Lester, the information that he was wanted by the police for an alleged murder was distributed nationwide. Lester and Mokeme had been in a relationship previously, and police said he had a history of domestic violence. It was more than a month before Lester was arrested in Mexico on a charge of murder. Officials say he was taken into custody without incident.

How Long Is His Sentence?

Raymond Lester was found guilty in November 2023 of intentional or knowing murder for the death of Nicole Mokeme. According to the BDN, Lester was sentenced Thursday morning to 48 years in prison.

How Can I Find Domestic Violence Resources?

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, help is available. In Hancock and Washington counties, you can contact the Next Step Domestic Violence Project. Their 24-hour helpline is 800-315-5579. You do not have to be in crisis to call. If you're not in those counties, call the national hotline at 800-799-7233 or call 211 to find resources in your area.

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