Maine Social Activist Was Allegedly Murdered in Intentional Hit-and-Run by Boyfriend
A Maine man on the run for more than a month was arrested this week in Mexico on an arrest warrant charging him with murder in connection with his girlfriend’s June 19 death.
The U.S. Marshals Service Violent Offender Task Force arrested Raymond Lester, 35, on Monday evening after catching up to him in Cancun.
Lester had been wanted in connection with the death of Nicole Mokeme since June 21, when the warrant was issued. He was also being sought on a federal warrant issued June 29 for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
“Through a collective effort, investigators in Maine learned Lester had fled the U.S. and was in Cancun, Mexico,” reads a statement from the U.S. Marshals Service. “Mexican authorities in collaboration with the USMS Mexico Foreign Field took Lester into custody Monday evening without incident.”
Lester was extradited to the U.S. and arrived in Chicago on Wednesday.
He will be transferred to Maine after he’s arraigned in Illinois on the federal charge.
Mokeme died after being struck in a hit-and-run on June 18 while she was in Acadia National Park.
She was mother to an 11-year-old girl. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up online to help with the girl’s college fund.
In 2013, Mokeme founded Rise and Shine Youth Retreat, “a rejuvenation center for the enrichment and liberation” of Black people in Maine, her obituary states. She also served as the organization’s executive creative director, according to her obituary.
The Portland Press Herald reports Lester and Nicole Mokeme had been dating for three years.
The paper described Nicole Mokeme as “a longtime activist, organizer and leader in the Black community,” noting she was killed during a retreat she had organized over the Juneteenth holiday week.
Lester has not entered pleas to the charges he faces, and attorney information for him was unavailable Friday.
The Press Herald report notes Lester has been arrested before for domestic violence — first, in 2008, when he was charged with domestic violence assault to which he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to less than a month in jail.