BANGOR, Maine — A Newport woman quietly wept Monday in the first floor courtroom of the Penobscot Judicial Center as her son denied killing his father and pistol-whipping her last fall in the couple’s home.
Perley G. Goodrich Jr., 45, of Newport pleaded not guilty and not criminally responsible by reason of insanity to intentional or knowing murder, depraved indifference murder, and aggravated assault.
He did not appear to make eye contact with his mother, Sandra Goodrich, 64. His sister, Nancy Watson of Stetson, left the courtroom in sobs before the short hearing was concluded.
The women declined to talk to reporters after the arraignment.
Goodrich Jr. is accused of shooting his father, Perley G. Goodrich Sr., 76, after beating his mother with a gun at about 11:40 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Rutland Road home they shared in Newport. Goodrich Jr. was arrested after a four-day manhunt that culminated after a waitress recognized him drinking coffee at a Newport truck stop.
Superior Court Justice William Anderson ordered that Goodrich undergo a psychological evaluation to determine his state of mind when the alleged crime occurred. Also on Monday, he agreed with defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor and Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson, who is prosecuting the case, that Goodrich be held without bail for the time being.
Benson declined to discuss the case with reporters. It is the practice of the Maine Attorney General’s Office not to discuss pending cases.
If Goodrich Jr. were found not criminally responsible for the crime, he would be held at Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta until he was deemed fit to live in society without being a danger to himself or others, Silverstein said after the hearing. If found guilty, he would face between 25 years and life in prison.
“He had an acute and active medical condition that he sought help for, that his mother pleaded for him to receive,” the attorney said. “In my opinion, he was having a psychotic episode when these events took place.”
Silverstein said that as far as he knew, his client and his mother had not seen each other since Goodrich Jr.’s arrest.
Sandra Goodrich told the Bangor Daily News the day after her son’s arrest that she had taken him to a hospital the day of — but before — the attacks on her and her husband so he could be treated for his mental health problems. She described her son as “bipolar.”
She said she took Goodrich Jr. to Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield. From there, he was transferred to another health care facility, but federal privacy laws prevented personnel from identifying it. Goodrich Jr. returned home a few hours before he allegedly killed his father and beat his mother.
According to a court affidavit, the son entered his mother’s bedroom, where she was asleep, and asked to use her cell phone. Goodrich Jr. left the room with the phone, but when his mother followed him to the living room, he allegedly grabbed her, struck her with his fists and attempted to bind her hands together with duct tape. He then pulled a handgun and struck her on the head five to six times, leaving her dazed and beaten, the woman told police.
Goodrich Jr. then went to the bedroom where his father was sleeping, according to the affidavit. His mother told police she heard a gunshot from the bedroom and her husband exclaim, “He shot me.” Sandra Goodrich fled the home and ran to a neighbor’s house, where police were called.
Officers later found Goodrich Sr. dead with a gunshot wound in the back. Goodrich Jr. had fled the home, according to the affidavit.
The arraignment of a second man charged with a double slaying in November in Burlington was continued Monday because Silverstein said he had not received discovery material from Benson’s office.
A new date has not been set for the arraignment of Nathaneal Nightingale, 31, of Burlington. He was indicted in late December for intentional or knowing murder in the shooting deaths of Michael L. Miller and Valerie J. Miller, both 47.
In interviews with police, Nightingale said he shot the couple, with whom he was friends, after a botched robbery attempt. Initially, Nightingale gave investigators a composite sketch of a suspect who turned out to be nonexistent.
The Millers both died from small-caliber gunshot wounds to the head, according to the state medical examiner’s office. The couple was found dead on Nov. 28. Nightingale was arrested about two weeks later.
He is being held without bail along with Goodrich at the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor.