Murder suspect’s lawyer allowed to shield mental evaluation

Posted April 01, 2011, at 3:17 p.m.
Last modified April 01, 2011, at 6:45 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Mental evaluations of accused murderer Arnold Diana will be hidden from the prosecution, a judge decided Friday morning.

Diana is charged with intentional or knowing murder in the Nov. 20, 2010, death of 47-year-old Katrina Windred, a former girlfriend.

The prosecution earlier requested mental evaluations of Diana’s criminal responsibility and competency to stand trial. Friday’s hearing was held to respond to a request by Diana’s attorneys that the state not be allowed to see those evaluations unless their client uses an insanity or other mental health defense.

Diana “has not yet determined whether he will be pursuing a defense based on criminal responsibility or abnormal condition of the mind; therefore it is premature for the State Forensic Service to conduct such an examination,” Diana’s attorney Christopher MacLean wrote in a March 21 motion.

Attorney Sarah Irving-Gilbert, who covered for MacLean in Knox County Superior Court on Friday, also told Justice Jeffrey Hjelm that Diana recently received money for the defense to conduct its own mental evaluations.

Hjelm approved the motion and then gave the defense until June 10 to tell the court whether Diana plans to defend himself based on his mental state.

The lights flickered on and off in the courtroom during the proceedings as a wintry April Fools’ Day storm shook electrical wires outside.

Police say Diana strangled Windred to death on Nov. 20 in his Rockland apartment before wrapping her body in a blanket and dragging it down the back stairs, according to an affidavit filed in court by a Maine State Police detective. Diana placed the body in the front seat of a borrowed truck and later dumped it on the side of Thompson Meadow Road, the document states.

Three days later, a man walking with his dog on that road on the outskirts of the city near old limestone quarries spotted Windred’s body and called police. Police arrested Diana on Nov. 27, 2010, and he remains jailed without bail.

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