The Winthrop teenager accused of killing his parents and the family dog on Halloween 2016 pleaded not guilty Friday to two counts of murder and one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, according to the clerk’s office at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta.
Andrew Balcer, 19, was indicted on the charges last month by the Kennebec County grand jury after a judge ruled in November that he should be tried as an adult. Balcer was about six weeks shy of his 18th birthday when he allegedly stabbed his parents — Alice and Antonio Balcer, both 47 — and the family chihuahua, but spared his older brother on Oct. 31, 2016.
“Not guilty on all, sir,” he told Superior Court Justice Daniel Billings when asked what he pleaded to the charges, according to a video posted by the Kennebec Journal.
He is scheduled to be tried in November, according to the Maine Attorney General’s Office, which is prosecuting the case.
His attorney, Walter McKee, of Augusta, declined to comment.
Andrew Balcer was struggling with gender identity issues and felt his parents would not accept him, according to testimony at a two-day hearing in October to determine if he would be tried as an adult or as a juvenile.
In an audio interview with police played at the hearing, Balcer told police that he stabbed his mother repeatedly in the back while she was hugging him, then stabbed his father and, finally, the dog because it would not stop barking. Alice Balcer was stabbed nine times and Antonio Balcer was stabbed 13 times, according to the autopsy report.
Andrew Balcer has been held without bail at the Kennebec County Jail since November when the judge ruled he should be tried as an adult.
Before that ruling, he was incarcerated at Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland.
If convicted of murder, Balcer faces between 25 years and life in prison. Under Maine law, a life sentence may be imposed when there are multiple homicide victims. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted of slaying the dog.
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