BANGOR, Maine — The local transient accused of killing a man last month on First Street reportedly teared up when he finally admitted to Bangor police detectives that he had stabbed Andy Smith during a group fight.
Police announced Thursday that Jason A. Trickett, 41, was wanted for the homicide of Smith, 38, who was stabbed in the early morning hours of May 22 and later died at Eastern Maine Medical Center. Trickett was arrested about 7:15 a.m. Friday on a city bus at Pickering Square and made his first court appearance on a manslaughter charge around 11 a.m. at the Penobscot Judicial Center. His bail was set at $50,000 cash.
“Trickett said that he was friends with Andy [Smith] and had no intention of stabbing him at all,” said a police affidavit written by Bangor police Detective Brent Beaulieu. “He said that he was just pushing him away and the stabbing was an accident.”
Trickett also told police that he and his friends at 71 First St. “all were drinking or using narcotics,” the court document said.
An eyewitness and friend of Smith told the Bangor Daily News that Smith was arguing with a woman out in the street when another woman intervened. The affidavit supports that account.
Eugene “Shawn” Cox, a resident of 69 First St., said the second woman came out of 71 First St. “with a two-by-four and she hit him,” apparently in defense of the first woman.
“He got the two-by-four away from her and she called for her friends. They all started on him,” said Cox, who met Smith in middle school.
Seconds later, Smith reportedly was bleeding from a wound to his left rib area and was trying to get away. Cox did not see who stabbed his friend.
The second woman told police that when she saw Smith punch her friend in the face, knocking her to the ground, she “left the apartment and grabbed a board,” Beaulieu said in the affidavit. “She said that she struck Andy in the back with the board and she began to struggle with [him] over the board” just before others emerged from 71 First St. and arrived at the street fight.
“After the struggle stopped, Andy said that he was bleeding badly,” the affidavit said. “[She] saw blood on Andy but did not know why.”
The woman fled the area before police arrived because she was wanted on outstanding warrants.
Another man who was involved in the group fight said that as he came out of the apartment building at 71 First St., “Jason Trickett passed by him on his way back inside. [The man] began to help separate Andy and the others and began to get covered by blood,” the affidavit said. “[He] had no idea where the blood had come from but did admit to changing his clothes once back inside.”
The next day, the man spoke with Trickett and “Trickett admitted to him that he had stabbed Andy Smith,” the affidavit said.
In detectives’ third interview with Trickett, which took place on Monday, he “said that he just pushed Andy away and didn’t even realize that he had stabbed Andy,” the affidavit said. “Trickett said that he went back inside and saw that there was blood on the knife. He said he became upset and asked himself what he had done.”
Tricket also “admitted that he had put the knife in the trash can.”
Police got a warrant to search Apartment 5 at 71 First St. the day after the stabbing and found inside a trash can “a knife that had [a] red brown stain and tested positive for the presence of blood,” the affidavit stated.
The knife had a folding-style blade and is being tested for fingerprints and evidence of Smith’s blood, Lt. Tim Reid, who leads the department’s detective division, said just before the court hearing began on Friday.
Trickett’s mother called police on May 25 and told them her son had overdosed on drugs, according to the affidavit. The next day a woman from Brewer arrived at the police station and told Officer Brian Smith that she met a man at the Metro methadone clinic who told her “he had stabbed the guy on First Street. He said that he had been taking a lot of Klonopin to deal with this and had overdosed the previous day.”
At the end of their conversation, the man took off his white medical bracelet, dropped it on the ground and walked off, the affidavit said. The bracelet identified the man as Trickett.
Police interviewed Trickett four times, according to the Beaulieu — May 22, May 25, June 4 and June 5. They also set up a meeting on May 26, but Trickett arrived at the police station “so heavily under the influence of some substance, he was sent away,” the court document said.
In the last interview, “Trickett again stated that he did not intentionally stab Andy and hadn’t realized he had until after it happened,” Beaulieu said in the affidavit.
During the short hearing Friday morning at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Superior Court Justice William Anderson noted that because the case involves a homicide, “we will not be asking for pleas since the defendant has not been indicted.”
“I expect to present the case to the grand jury later this month,” Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson told the judge.
A dispositional conference was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 9.
Trickett, who was wearing an orange jail jumpsuit and had tattoos visible on his arms and the back of his neck, did not say a word during the hearing.
Trickett was represented in court by defense attorney Marvin Glazier. Attorney Hunter Tzovarras also was at the defendant’s table and could be seen discussing matters with Trickett.
Glazier said afterward that he needed time to review the case before making any comments.
“This is all I know,” he said, holding up the warrant for Trickett’s arrest.
Glazier also asked and was granted permission to return to court in the future in order to review Trickett’s bail conditions.
Trickett was returned to jail after court on Friday to await his next court appearance.
Smith was a 1992 graduate of Hermon High School and had studied at the University of Maine at Augusta in Bangor, then known as the University College of Bangor, according to his obituary.
He recently had returned to Maine from Mendocino, Calif., because he wanted to spend more time with his two children, ages 7 and 11, who live in Orono, Cox said.
Reid said that he was impressed with the job done by the detectives who worked on the case.
“I think they did a great job especially given that there was a lot of people involved” and the transient nature of many of the people, the longtime detective said. “They’re hard to locate. It was a real good job, I think.”