September 24, 2018
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Winthrop man to change plea to guilty on murder charges

Courtesy of Kennebec County Jail
Courtesy of Kennebec County Jail
Andrew Balcer
By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff
Updated:

A Winthrop man will plead guilty to killing his parents and the family dog on Halloween 2016, his attorney says.

Andrew Balcer had entered a plea of not guilty on Jan. 12 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.

His attorney, Walter F. McKee of Augusta, confirmed the pending change of plea in an email Thursday night.

[Winthrop teenager accused of killing parents felt repressed at home]

McKee declined to say why Balcer, who was 19 when a Kennebec County grand jury indicted him in December 2017, opted for the change.

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 Oct. 31, 2016.

Andrew Balcer was struggling with gender identity issues and felt his parents would not accept him, according to Dr. Debra Baeder, Maine’s chief forensic psychiatrist.

Baeder testified at a two-day hearing in October held to determine if he would be tried as an adult or as a juvenile.

In one of her sessions with him, Balcer said, “‘Maybe I should be someone else. Maybe, I should be a woman,” the doctor testified.

“‘I couldn’t be as flamboyant as I wanted. I couldn’t dress the way I wanted,'” she testified Balcer told her.

[Maine teenager indicted for murder in deaths of parents]

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.

Judge Eric Walker issued an order saying Balcer should face the charges in the adult system. He also certified the case to go forward to a grand jury.

Andrew Balcer has been held without bail at the Kennebec County Jail since November.

He is due in court Sept. 19. Sentencing will likely occur in October, McKee said.

BDN Writer Judy Harrison and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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