April 22, 2018
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Man found not guilty by reason of insanity reports to Riverview

Penobscot County Jail | BDN
Penobscot County Jail | BDN
Clinton E. Grubbs
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — Clinton Grubbs self-reported to Riverview Psychiatric Hospital on Thursday, according to the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office. Grubbs, 49, of Bangor was found not guilty by reason of insanity on Monday in connection with an assault at an Essex Street boarding house in January 2010.

He had remained free on bail while awaiting a bed at Riverview, the only hospital in the state capable of caring for people found not guilty of a crime by reason of insanity.

Media coverage of Grubbs’ sentence, which did not state that he was free on bail, caused concern when he was spotted Tuesday in the library at the Bangor campus of the University of Maine at Augusta. A librarian called Bangor police concerned that Grubbs might have escaped.

That anxiety was unfounded, Grubbs’ attorney, David Bate of Bangor, said Thursday in an email to the Bangor Daily News. He said his client’s behavior “could not have been more peaceable than when he [was] sitting quietly in a library, as observed.

“Mr. Grubbs has been living in the community without incident since January 2010,” Bate said. “His bail order reasonably required that he provide the court with proof of a psychological evaluation immediately upon his release. The [Eastern Maine Medical Center] report includes an Acadia Hospital consult and concludes that Mr. Grubbs ‘presents no risks to himself or anyone else.’ Since then, he has been evaluated probably seven or eight times by state and private mental health professionals. No one believed him to be a at risk for re-offending.

“Mr. Grubbs’ exemplary conduct while on bail affirms the foresighted conclusion of those evaluators and the judge who set bail,” Bate continued. “Contrary to the suggestions in the BDN article, the system worked.”

Superior Court Justice William Anderson sentenced Grubbs to the state-run hospital after the defendant pleaded no contest to elevated aggravated assault. Grubbs will remain at Riverview undergoing treatment until clinicians at the hospital and a judge decide he has made enough progress to be released.

Grubbs entered his plea a day before his jury trial was scheduled to start.

Ann LeBlanc, director of the State Forensic Service, said Thursday in a telephone interview that the standards of release for an individual sentenced to Riverview are more stringent than bail conditions, and that a release is done in stages. LeBlanc said that while an individual may petition a judge in Kennebec County for some form of release from Riverview every six months, the first release most likely would be for an hour or less in the company of a staff member not far from the hospital.

She said that an individual might go through a series of steps over a long period of time that allowed increased time outside the facility gradually. Most people who are released to live in the community reside in group homes or supervised apartment buildings before living on their own.

If 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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