Verdict in First Street stabbing to be announced by judge Monday

Posted Sept. 19, 2013, at 11:06 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 19, 2013, at 4:48 p.m.
Jason Trickett during the first day of his trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor Monday. Trickett is charged with manslaughter for the fatal stabbing of Andy Smith on First Street on May 22nd 2012.
Jason Trickett during the first day of his trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor Monday. Trickett is charged with manslaughter for the fatal stabbing of Andy Smith on First Street on May 22nd 2012.

BANGOR, Maine — A Superior Court justice Monday will announce whether a local transient is guilty or innocent of manslaughter in the death of Andy Smith, 38, of Bangor on May 22, 2012.

Superior Court Justice William Anderson presided earlier this month over the 2½-day, jury-waived trial of Jason Trickett, 42, at the Penobscot Judicial Center. Anderson took the matter under advisement Sept. 11.

Trickett was charged in June 2012 with manslaughter in connection with the stabbing death of Smith on First Street. He did not take the stand during his trial but his attorneys argued that Trickett acted in self-defense.

“To claim self-defense Mr. Trickett had to believe that Andy Smith was going to use unlawful deadly force against him or others and he had to believe that he had to use deadly force to defend himself or others,” Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said in his closing statement. “The evidence simply does not show that.”

Defense attorney Hunter Tzovarras of Bangor disagreed in his closing statement.

“There is no evidence that Andy was unarmed or not violent,” Tzovarras said. “All the evidence shows that he was on a rampage that night, assaulting everyone.”

Recordings of police interviews with Trickett on June 4 and 5, 2012, in which he confessed to stabbing Smith, were played for the judge during the trial.

Trickett told police that he did not deliberately stab and kill the 38-year-old man during a brawl on First Street 16 months ago.

“Whether it was an accident or self-defense or whatever, I didn’t mean to do it,” Trickett, a transient, told Bangor police detectives Brent Beaulieu and Tim Cotton on June 4, 2012.

“I didn’t want to stab him, I just wanted to push him down,” a crying Trickett told police during the interview, which took place in the detectives’ car in a store parking lot on the corner of State Street and Broadway in Bangor.

In his first interview with police on May 22, 2012, Trickett denied stabbing Smith.

Smith died of a stab wound to the heart, according to a stipulation submitted to the judge. His blood alcohol level at the time of his death was 0.16, or twice the legal limit to operate a vehicle legally.

Trickett has been held at the Penobscot County Jail since his arrest June 8, 2012, unable to post $50,000 bail. He will continue to be held without bail unless he is acquitted.

If convicted, Trickett faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 but would not be sentenced Monday.

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story reported that the verdict would be announced Tuesday. It is Monday.

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