AUGUSTA — A Vassalboro man formally pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a charge of murder in the stabbing death of 69-year-old Thomas A. Namer of Waterville.
Courtney D. Shea, 30, has been in custody since Nov. 22, 2013, the day he called police to report the body of an unnamed man was in his driveway.
Shea later told police he blacked out and killed Namer after Namer touched him sexually the previous night. Shea said he had been drinking and called Namer seeking a ride.
Namer was known for giving people rides home from bars.
Shea said when he got in the car, Namer sexually propositioned him. Shea also told police he had been sexually abused at age 11 by Namer and previously by other people, according to an affidavit by Maine State Police Detective Abbe Chabot, and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result.
Justice Michaela Murphy told Shea at his arraignment on Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court that the charge of intentional or knowing murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a minimum sentence of 25 years with none suspended.
Shea, in a green jail uniform with his wrists and ankles shackled, told the judge his plea was “not guilty.”
Shea is being held without bail on the murder charge.
His attorney, Brad Grant, said he had some discovery issues. However, he told Murphy, “The state is working with us.”
Prior to Shea’s arriving in the courtroom, Grant and Deputy Attorney General William Stokes addressed the judge regarding Grant’s request for police and law enforcement information about any contact or incidents police agencies had involving Namer.
The judge said she approved that order last week, which means she receives the material first and decides whether it is pertinent.
She said she had reviewed materials from Fairfield and Waterville police departments as well as Somerset County Sheriff’s Office and would pass those on to Grant.
Other material, she said, had come in from Winslow, Augusta and the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.
“I’ll review them next week and issue an order,” Murphy told the attorneys.
Grant handed her some materials he had received directly from the Skowhegan Police Department and said he had received notice that Gardiner and Winthrop police departments had nothing regarding Namer.
“I’m trying to find out as much about the decedent as I can, and the court today issued an order that will provide some of that information,” Grant said after the hearing. “I can’t copy it and can’t disclose it to outside sources.”
Grant also said an evaluation of Shea by the Maine Forensic Service indicated Shea was competent to enter a plea. Stokes requested a copy, and Grant said he would provide one.
Grant also said Shea would be undergoing a further evaluation for criminal responsibility.
“The competency evaluation did not address whether there were any competency issues at the time of the incident,” Grant said after the hearing.
This story will be updated.
Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at firstname.lastname@example.org