Judge grants defense motion for Kyle Dube’s competency exam

Posted June 25, 2013, at 10:24 a.m.
Last modified June 25, 2013, at 5:27 p.m.
Kyle Dube, 20, at the Penobscot Judicial Center Wednesday morning.
Kyle Dube, 20, at the Penobscot Judicial Center Wednesday morning. Buy Photo

BANGOR, Maine — A Superior Court justice has granted a defense motion that the Orono man accused of kidnapping and killing 15-year-old Nichole Cable on Mother’s Day undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he is competent to stand trial.

Kyle Dube, 20, pleaded not guilty June 19 to one count each of kidnapping and murder.

Justice Ann Murray, who was filling in for Justice William Anderson, signed the motion Wednesday after Dube’s arraignment, defense attorney Stephen Smith of Bangor said Tuesday.

The motion had not been docketed as of Tuesday morning and a copy was not available in the clerk’s office at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Smith previously expressed concern for Dube’s safety after threats to his life were circulated on the Internet.

Penobscot County Sheriff Glenn Ross said Tuesday afternoon that Dube was moved due to overcrowding and for security reasons unrelated to the threats Smith referenced when Dube was charged. Ross said that with the facility filled beyond its capacity, it was not possible to keep Dube in protective custody at the jail.

A date for the psychological examination has not been set, said Smith, who has been appointed with Wendy Hatch of Bangor to represent Dube. Smith also said that the defense would hire its own psychologist to examine Dube.

If psychologists express conflicting views on Dube’s competency in their reports, Anderson most likely would schedule a hearing. To find the Orono man competent, the judge would have to conclude by a preponderance of the evidence that Dube understands the nature of the charges, comprehends his own condition in relation to those charges and the consequences of a conviction, and is able to assist in his own defense.

Dube is accused of luring Cable out of her mother’s home by using someone else’s identity on Facebook, then killing her in an abduction gone wrong. Dube allegedly planned to kidnap the girl, hide her, then find her and play the hero.

Cable died of “asphyxia due to compression of the neck,” according to the state medical examiner’s office. The teenager’s body was found late May 20 in a wooded area of Old Town after Dube’s girlfriend and brother told police where Dube said he had left the girl’s body, according to court documents.

If found not competent to stand trial, Dube could be committed to Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta until he could be restored to competency to stand trial. If he could not be restored to competency, Dube could enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

If found guilty of kidnapping and murder, Dube would face between 25 years and life in prison on the murder charge alone. If found not guilty by reason of insanity, he would be committed to Riverview until he is deemed not to be a risk to society.

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