AUGUSTA, Maine — A St. Albans man accused of killing his uncle a year ago Friday filed a plea Wednesday of not guilty by reason of insanity.
Jeremy Erving, 25, told police that his uncle, Randy Erving, 53, was his best friend and that he didn’t know why he shot him after the two had been drinking all day at his uncle’s McNally Road home on April 7, 2016, according to a previously filed court affidavit.
“He supplemented his not guilty plea to include the plea of not criminally responsible due to mental defect or disease,” Erving’s defense attorney, Philip Mohlar of Skowhegan, said Thursday by phone.
Mohlar and Assistant Attorney General Bud Ellis, who is prosecuting the case, also discussed a possible settlement on Wednesday at the Capitol Judicial Center, but none was reached, the defense attorney said.
“We remain on course for trial in November,” Mohlar said.
“Just because it wasn’t resolved on Wednesday doesn’t mean it couldn’t be resolved by a plea agreement” before trial, he added later.
Superior Court Justice Robert Mullen is scheduled to preside over the November trial in Somerset County, the defense attorney said.
The Maine attorney general’s office ordered a psychological exam last summer to determine if Erving was competent to assist in his own defense.
Mohlar said he could not discuss specifics of the report but that it was the reason why he added the supplemental plea.
Dexter police stopped Jeremy Erving for suspected drunken driving at about 12:55 a.m. on April 8 while he was driving his uncle’s truck, with his uncle’s dog inside, according to the affidavit filed at the Somerset County Courthouse. There was a loaded rifle in the vehicle and Erving’s blood alcohol level was 0.24, three times the legal limit of 0.08 to operate a vehicle, the affidavit said.
Later in the day, his uncle was found dead in his bed with a gunshot wound to the back of his head and a single .30-30 shell was found on the floor nearby, according to a previously published report.
Erving allegedly told police that he did not remember shooting his uncle but believes he must have since he was the only person in the house with him. He is being held without bail at the Somerset County Jail.
If convicted of murder, Erving faces between 25 years and life in prison. If found not guilty by reason of insanity, he would be committed indefinitely to Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.
BDN reporter Judy Harrison contributed to this story.