Police say Bethea, whose nickname is "Prince," shot and mortally wounded former Brewer resident Terrance Durel Sr.
Durel, who was shot in the stomach and leg, later died from his injuries. Bethea took off running but was captured in Ohio about a month later.
Jury selection is underway today at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
“The trial will start on Monday and we hope to have a jury selected by the end of the day, Friday,” said Hunter Tzovarras, Bethea's defense attorney.
The deceased used text messages to threatened Bethea earlier in the day and a fight broke out after Durel and his friend arrived at the apartment house where Bethea lived with his wife and child, court records show.
Bethea claims the shooting was in self-defense.
“Once the trial starts, we expect the jury to hear that Mr. Bethea was confronted by two men who showed up at his house looking for trouble and a struggle ensured,” Tzovarras said. “And unfortunately one of the men was shot, although it wasn't Mr. Bethea's intent to harm anyone.”
Bethea has been at the Penobscot County Jail awaiting his trial since he was returned to Maine on May 30, 2017.
If convicted, Bethea would face a penalty of between 25 years to life in prison.