Man found not guilty in stabbing because of mental illness, sentenced to psychiatric hospital

Clinton E. Grubbs.
Courtesy of Penobscot County Jail
Clinton E. Grubbs.
Posted Oct. 24, 2011, at 6:22 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Superior Court judge on Monday sentenced a local man to Riverview Psychiatric Hospital in Augusta after finding him not guilty by reason of insanity of stabbing a fellow tenant at an Essex Street boarding house nearly two years ago.

In a hearing at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Clinton Grubbs, 49, of Bangor pleaded no contest to elevated aggravated assault, according to Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County.

Grubbs was accused of stabbing a 57-year-old man in the side of his abdomen and his right hand with a 4- to 5-inch chopping-style knife on Jan. 6, 2010, according to police. Frederick Pond of Bangor underwent emergency surgery that same day.

Pond died on April 27, 2010, according to an obituary published in the Bangor Daily News.

“There were intervening medical issues with the victim that prevented a finding that his death was directly related to the stabbing,” Roberts said.

Defense attorney David Bate apologized on behalf of his client in a statement emailed after the hearing Monday.

“Mr. Grubbs sincerely regrets that this occurred,” Bate said. “He is deeply sorry for the suffering Mr. Pond and his family went through.

“If it is of any consolation to Mr. Pond’s family, they can rest assured that Mr. Grubbs understands that he somehow will have to live with this for the rest of his life, along with the regret for the pain he has caused them,” Bate concluded.

Roberts called the resolution of the case good for the defendant and the community.

“If Mr. Grubbs were found guilty of elevated aggravated assault, he most likely would have faced an incarceration of some length, followed by, at most, three or four years of probation that would have included treatment,” Roberts said in a telephone interview after the sentencing. “Then he would have been free to go. With this finding, he’s committed to the hospital to be treated continuously until the hospital and a judicial authority feel he’s made enough progress to be released.”

Roberts said that Grubbs had a long history of mental illness that went untreated but no criminal record. He had been free on bail since a few days after his arrest.

Grubbs suffered from delusions coupled with paranoia.

If he had been convicted of elevated aggravated assault, a Class A crime, Grubbs would have faced up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

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