The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday rejected an appeal by a New Hampshire man who claimed he shouldn’t have been convicted of trying to kidnap a boy from his grandmother’s arms in a Bowdoinham park-and-ride lot because he suffered from a mental abnormality.

James Graham, 31, of Newmarket, New Hampshire, followed the grandmother’s car to the parking lot around 8 p.m. on May 22, 2013, and approached it as the 2-year-old boy, the grandmother and the boy’s mother got out of the vehicle, according to court records.

“Graham then grabbed the child’s forearm and said angrily, ‘I’m taking him home with me tonight.’ The grandmother responded, ‘No, you’re not,’ and Graham repeated himself. Maintaining his grip on the child, he said, ‘You don’t understand. You have no choice. He’s mine now. There’s nothing you can do about it.’ Graham pulled forcefully on the child’s forearm, but the grandmother gripped the child’s bicep tightly, keeping him on her hip,” Justice Joseph Jabar wrote in the court’s unanimous decision.

Graham drove off after the mother and grandmother told him law enforcement officers were on their way, court records say.

Graham was convicted after a trial last Feb. 24 of attempted kidnapping and assault, and was sentenced to serve 15 months of a four-year sentence followed by three years of probation.

In his appeal, Graham argued he shouldn’t have been convicted because of his mental issues.

“Because Graham did not raise the insanity defense, the trial court was not required to consider whether evidence that Graham suffered from a distorted perception of reality rendered him not criminally responsible for his actions,” Jabar wrote in the 15-page decision. “Graham was aware that he was interacting with the child at the Park & Ride, and his threats to take the child home with him support the conclusion that it was his conscious object to take the child to his home in New Hampshire.”

At trial, psychologist Elise Magnuson testified that she felt Graham had suffered a psychotic break caused by family issues and his experience serving in the Air Force, according to court records.

Graham served in the Air Force for 10 years, earning a Bronze Star and other decorations for combat missions, according to a 2013 article in Foster’s Daily Democrat.

At the time of Graham’s arrest in Brunswick shortly after the attempted kidnapping, police found a loaded handgun in his vehicle, cable ties, knives and parachute cord, according to a statement last year by Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Graham grew up in Waterville, but was living in New Hampshire at the time of his arrest, McCausland said in the statement.

Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at:

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Twitter: @scottddolan