A Standish man has pleaded not guilty to murder in the killing of his domestic partner in June and is being held without bail.

Brandon Libby, 34, was arrested Friday and appeared in Cumberland County Superior Court on Monday afternoon via Zoom. A grand jury indicted him last week in connection with the death of 29-year-old Amanda Brown. If convicted on the murder charge, he will face a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Brandon Libby Photo courtesy Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office

Police responded to the couple’s house in Standish for a reported assault June 16 and found the young woman dead. Later that day, the Maine State Police tactical team and a K-9 unit took Libby into protective custody in Waterboro. He did not immediately face charges, however, and police said at the time that he was cooperative with their questioning.

At first, police would not disclose the cause or manner of Brown’s death. Last week, a spokeswoman for the Maine State Police said the state Medical Examiner’s Office had determined the cause of Brown’s death was a gunshot and ruled it a homicide.

The Maine Attorney General’s Office filed a motion to impound the arrest warrant for Libby last week prior to his arrest, saying there was “a significant possibility” that he might be hostile toward law enforcement. State police announced the arrest Friday and said he was taken into custody without incident. At the arraignment, the attorneys agreed Libby would be held without bail for now, but they could hold a hearing on that matter in the future. The case file revealed little new information, and no affidavit was included Monday.

Defense attorney Ronald Bourget, who is representing Libby, did not return an email about the case Monday afternoon.

In an online fundraiser after her death, friends described Brown as a “wonderful young vibrant woman” who was loved by her family and respected by her co-workers. They said Brown had a huge heart and that she loved her children, the children she worked with as a caseworker, and animals.

After the shooting, Brown’s mother, Jeanine Brown, filed for a protection from abuse order on behalf of the couple’s two children, ages 2 and 3, according to court documents. In the filing, she said the children were present when their father shot their mother, after which he fled and became involved in what she described as a standoff with police in North Waterboro. She alleged Libby had been physically and mentally abusive and that he drank hard liquor daily.

“I am in fear of my life and safety (and those) of my grandchildren,” Jeanine Brown wrote in a June 21 affidavit requesting the temporary protection order. “On June 15 I believe he (Brandon) shot and killed my daughter in their home with both children present. Brandon Libby is stating self-defense.”

A judge granted the temporary protection order. A hearing to determine if a full two-year protection order would be warranted was delayed until at least December to give criminal investigators time to complete their work, according to court records.

During a brief interview with a reporter last summer, Brandon Libby and his mother, Lilo Libby, called Brown’s death a “tragic accident,” but declined to talk about how Brown died or why Libby fled the scene.

“(Amanda) was loved very much by all of us,” Lilo Libby said last year. “This whole thing needs to end. The truth needs to come out. People need to move on with their lives. There’s a lot of people who are really, really hurt right now. A lot of people. We’re hurting as much as (Amanda’s mother) is hurting.”

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