Suspect in Portland recording studio shooting held without bail

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PORTLAND — The suspect in the death of one person and the shooting of another May 25 at an Old Port recording studio remained in Cumberland County Jail Tuesday without bail.

Johnny Ouch, 20, of Westbrook, was indicted July 10 by a Cumberland County grand jury in the murder of Treyjon Arsenault and for shooting Mohamed Ali.

The shootings occurred at Da Block Studios on Market Street. Arsenault died at Maine Medical Center. Ali was treated and released, and remained unidentified until the indictment was released.

Ouch pleaded not guilty to charges of Class A murder and elevated aggravated assault with a firearm July 17 in the Cumberland County Unified Criminal Docket in Portland.

Amy Fairfield, Ouch’s court-appointed attorney, said her client waived his right to a bail hearing within five days. She asked Justice Joyce Wheeler to allow a hearing after she has seen the state’s evidence.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt or innocence; it is a determination there is enough evidence to bring a case to trial.

Police announced Ouch’s arrest July 16, but provided little information about the case or suspect. The next day, Fairfield said she had learned little more after being assigned the case about 2 1/2 hours before Ouch appeared in court.

Following the hearing, which took about five minutes, Fairfield huddled with Ouch’s friends and family.

“I am completely reliant on the state,” Fairfield said, “I’m waiting on the discovery, which is pretty incredible since he has been indicted.”

Police previously said there were between seven and 11 people at the studio, owned by Ron Hargrove, but last week provided no more details about the connection between the suspect and victims, or any motive for the shooting.

After the shooting, Assistant Police Chief Vern Malloch also said police believed there was more than one suspect, but no more details have been released regarding that part of the investigation.

“This is a complex investigation which is still continuing,” the police said last week.

Arsenault was born in Fort Hood Texas, was a graduate of Westbrook High School and lived in Scarborough. Hargrove previously said he was a cheerful presence at the studio, although he was not pursuing his own music career.

“He was a good kid and didn’t deserve this,” Hargrove said after the shooting, adding he believed it was a random act because there had been no trouble at Da Block leading up to the incident.

If convicted, Ouch faces 25 years to life imprisonment for the murder and up to 30 years for the second charge.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Sidebar Elements

 Johnny Ouch, right, and attorney Amy Fairfield listen to Justice Joyce Wheeler in court in Portland July 19. Ouch pleaded not guilty to murder and aggravated assault charges in connection with the May 25 shootings that killed Treyjon Arsenault and wounded Mohamed Ali.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.