SKOWHEGAN – Angelo Licata’s claims that past physical or sexual abuse by his father led him to kill him last summer will be allowed as evidence in Licata’s murder trial next month, a judge said Thursday.

Licata, 33, of Detroit, is charged with murder in the bludgeoning death of his father, Alfred Licata, 63, in Cambridge. The trial is set to begin in Somerset County Superior Court on June 25. A judge will issue the verdict because Licata has waived his right to a jury trial.

Licata has pleaded not guilty.

Justice John Nivison said Thursday that testimony about prior abuse will be admissible if Angelo Licata and his lawyers can show that the alleged abuse affected his state of mind at the time of his father’s death.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson, who is prosecuting the case, said the judge will have to sift through the allegations of abuse to determine whether Angelo Licata was fearful or angry or acted in what he felt was self-defense.

In a motion to exclude the evidence of abuse, Benson said events that may have happened years earlier have no relevance.

Peter Barnett, who is representing Licata, told the judge that evidence of prior abuse is relevant to the case and admissible as evidence.

Benson said he will challenge claims that abuse happened but that if Licata believed that his father was about to use deadly force on him — whether the threat was real or imagined — it could be considered manslaughter.

Alfred Licata was found dead on a lawn near his home on Ham Hill Road on the night of July 21.

His wife, Arlene, told police that she heard banging and yelling coming from the first floor of the house and found blood all over the kitchen.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

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