November 28, 2012

Judge rules Augusta man not criminally responsible for stabbing roommate

By Betty Adams
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- A judge on Tuesday concluded that a city man was not criminally responsible by reason of mental disease for stabbing a roommate a year earlier.

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Malcolm Moore

Contributed photo

Malcolm Robert Moore, 38, was ordered held at Riverview Psychiatric Center in the custody of the commissioner of the Department of Health & Human Services until he is deemed unlikely to cause harm to himself or others.

Moore was indicted in February on a charge of aggravated assault on Aaron Brunelle, then 32. Brunelle was flown to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston for treatment for non life-threatening stab wounds.

Moore had previously pleaded both not guilty and not criminally responsible to the charge. On Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court, he withdrew his not guilty plea.

Moore, accompanied by his attorney, Lisa Whittier, spoke quietly as he responded briefly to the judge's questions.

Justice Michaela Murphy accepted the plea of not criminally responsible after hearing from psychologist Dr. Ann LeBlanc, director of the State Forensic Service, who evaluates defendants for the court.

LeBlanc said Moore was competent to enter a plea and understood the consequences of being found not criminally responsible and placed in the custody of the state.

Murphy also said she read a report from Dr. Andrew Wisch, a forensic psychologist, who concluded it was unlikely that Moore was taking his prescribed medication when the incident occurred.

Wisch's report noted Moore had been diagnosed by multiple providers with paranoid schizophrenia and had been in outpatient treatment for about five years.

Assistant District Attorney Joelle Pratt, who prosecuted the case, said the state attempted in vain to contact Brunelle several times over the past few weeks about the case.

Pratt said Brunelle was stabbed several times in the abdomen with a knife that had a 4-inch blade on Nov. 27, 2011. Brunelle had Moore in a headlock when he stabbed him, Pratt said.

Witnesses told police Moore stabbed Brunelle after Brunelle told him to clean up a mess he had made in the kitchen. Moore told police Brunelle told him he was being evicted and called him a racial epithet.

They each had apartments in the same building on Cony Road.

Betty Adams -- 621-5631

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