Sunday, December 8, 2013
By Ann S. Kim firstname.lastname@example.org
ALFRED — In the weeks before Patricia Noel was found dead in her home, she described being physically and emotionally abused by her grandson, Derek Poulin, who is now charged with killing her.
Sgt. Joel Davis and other investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Office leave the home of Patricia Noel, 62, of 44 Wesley Ave., on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.
Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer
Noel, who was 61, told her daughter that Poulin had been disrespectful toward her, called her names, blown cigarette smoke in her face and "gotten physical" with her, according to a police affidavit supporting Poulin's arrest Saturday on a murder charge.
Noel apparently also wrote letters that were found in her home in Old Orchard Beach, describing similar incidents involving Poulin, according to the document that became available to the public Monday.
After extinguishing a fire at Noel's home on Oct. 23, firefighters found her body on the floor of the first-floor bedroom, near the bathroom door.
The state Medical Examiner's Office determined that Noel died from multiple blunt impact injuries to the head, skull fractures and multiple stab wounds, according to the affidavit submitted by Maine State Police Detective Scott Harakles.
Poulin, 23, is scheduled to make his initial appearance in York County Superior Court on Tuesday. In addition to the murder charge, he faces a charge of arson. Police say he set the fire at the home on Wesley Avenue that he shared with his grandmother and father.
Police found a golf club handle and shaft, a golf club head that was not attached to a shaft, an adjustable wrench and a knife with a 3-inch blade in the shower of the bathroom connected to the bedroom. A swab taken from the wrench matched Noel's DNA profile, as did a red-brown stain on Poulin's left boot, according to the affidavit.
Darcy Daniels, Noel's daughter, told police that her mother was upset that Poulin was not contributing to the household and complained about his unemployment and lack of motivation, according to the affidavit.
Daniels also told police that her mother described abusive behavior by Poulin and said she had slapped his face during one of their altercations, the document says.
Investigators found two handwritten notes near a purse on the kitchen table in Noel's home that described the incidents. Five ripped-up letters with similar content were found in a trash can in the bedroom where Noel's body was found. The affidavit does not say to whom the letters were written.
Robert LeBrasseur, Poulin's attorney, said Monday morning that he could not comment before he had seen the probable-cause affidavit. He could not be reached after the document became public in the afternoon.
According to the affidavit, Poulin told a fire investigator who expressed condolences about Noel's death, "I don't even know what to say about that. I almost threw up."
He also said he was "angry" because he had no place to live, according to the document.
Poulin told police and fire investigators about a history of abuse among the three family members, the affidavit says. He said the last altercation happened because Noel was upset that he had been drinking.
Poulin told authorities that he rarely left the house. He said his typical day involved waking up in the morning, smoking cigarettes and marijuana, watching television and playing video games, according to the affidavit.
Investigators determined that between 2:45 and 4:56 p.m. on Oct. 23, Poulin was at his mother's home in Portland and visited the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, a dentist and a Catholic Charities store. He returned to Noel's home at 5:33 p.m.
The initial investigation of the fire, which was reported by a neighbor at 2:09 p.m., determined that it started around the bedding and mattress in the first-floor bedroom. A fire investigator believed the fire was slow and smoldering and could have been set two to three hours before it was reported, but no later than 1 p.m.
Investigators confirmed with the employer of Poulin's father, Reginald Poulin, 42, that the senior Poulin spent that day at work until he got a call from an Old Orchard Beach police detective, according to the affidavit.
Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: