Man who killed brother in self-defense cited for growing pot

Posted July 11, 2011, at 5:28 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — A man who was acquitted four years ago of stabbing his brother to death came to police attention again last week, this time for growing illegal marijuana plants in his Belfast apartment.

Michael Nickerson, 54, who lives on Miller Street, was issued a criminal citation Thursday evening for the cultivation of nine plants in his home.

The Belfast Police Department report on the matter was not available late Monday morning, according to Chief Jeff Trafton.

Nickerson was charged with manslaughter, elevated aggravated assault and aggravated assault in the stabbing death of his younger brother Charlie in the Searsport home they shared on Nov. 12, 2006.

While Nickerson admitted to having stabbed his brother, he told the jury in his criminal trial that he had acted in self-defense.

His attorney, Steven Peterson, said that Charlie Nickerson had punched his brother repeatedly in the head before the knife attack and that Michael Nickerson did “what he had to do” to stop the pummelling.

Both the prosecution and the defense agreed during the two-day trial that the brothers had often been in conflict over issues of disciplining their children, among other causes. But the state’s assistant attorney general said self-defense should not be a reason for using excessive force and that Michael Nickerson’s conduct had gone “over the line.”