ALFRED — Before she was beaten and stabbed to death at her Old Orchard Beach home in 2012, Patricia Noel wrote in a note that she had told her grandson he “better find a new place to live.”

A Maine State Police detective read a section of that note aloud to jurors Tuesday during the fourth day of a trial in York County Superior Court in which 26-year-old Derek Poulin faces charges of arson and murder in his 61-year-old grandmother’s death.

Justice John O’Neil Jr. had ruled before the trial last week that he would not allow that note and others like it to be admitted as evidence in their entirety, but he allowed state police Detective John Hainey to read a portion of that one note with the other sections whited out.

Hainey was one of a team of state police detectives who conducted crime scene analysis at Noel’s home at 44 Wesley Ave. in the days after her death on Oct. 23, 2012.

Hainey said he found that note on the dining room table in Noel’s house.

Noel’s body was so badly burned that investigators at first could not tell that she had been stabbed about 70 times and that her skull had been indented by forceful blows.


Hainey testified that a bank envelope found inside Noel’s pocketbook in the living room on the day of her murder. Another state police crime scene analyst, Detective Terrence James, testified that bank withdrawal slips show that $161.25 had been withdrawn.

James also testified Tuesday that money found in two lock boxes in an upstairs bedroom, totaling $1,410, had been left untouched.

James said investigators had been somewhat stymied trying to test blood-colored stains found on the walls of Noel’s bedroom and in the bathroom because the heat of the fire had melted the stains into the walls.

Police found a golf club handle and shaft, a golf club head, a wrench and a knife with a 3-inch blade in the shower connected to the bedroom where her body was found, James said.

James is expected to continue testifying after a lunch break.

Police accused Poulin after discovering a blood-colored stain on his boot that tested positive for Noel’s DNA, though they discovered no other of her blood evidence on him or in his car seized late that night.

Police also found that statements Poulin made about where he was that day did not match receipts and videos they recovered during the subsequent investigation.

Poulin has been held without bail since his arrest.

If convicted, he faces from 25 years to life in prison for murder and up to 30 years in prison for arson.