An Auburn man charged with murder in the June stabbing death of a Lewiston man pleaded not guilty Monday in Lewiston District Court.
Bryan Peabody, 25, allegedly stabbed 48-year-old Lawrence Kilkenny at about 11 p.m. on June 3. Kilkenny later died at a local hospital.
Justice Valerie Stanfill on Monday ordered that Peabody continue to be held without bail at the Androscoggin County Jail.
Kilkenny suffered about 20 slashing or puncture wounds, including two in the back that punctured a lung, resulting in a fatal loss of blood, Assistant Attorney General Robert “Bud” Ellis, who is prosecuting the case, said in June at a probable cause hearing. Stanfill found that there was probable cause to charge Peabody with murder despite defense attorney James Howaniec’s contention that his client may have acted in self-defense, the Sun Journal reported. Howaniec also told the judge that the evidence suggested that Peabody was the victim of a hate crime when the incident happened.
But Howaniec said on Monday that his client might plead not criminally responsible “down the road.” The lawyer did not tell the judge on what basis that change of plea might be based but said after the hearing all defenses are being considered.
“We are investigating all defenses, including self-defense, provocation, and not criminally responsible by reason of insanity,” the Lewiston lawyer said.
“There is evidence in the affidavit that the victim called the defendant a ‘f— boy,’ and also that there was another knife on the ground at the scene of the incident that does not belong to my client.”
Witnesses told the police that Peabody just snapped and began repeatedly stabbing Kilkenny, the Sun Journal reported last month. Peabody allegedly told his mother he argued with Kilkenny over the victim’s use of crack cocaine outside an apartment building.
Peabody was indicted last month by the Androscoggin County grand jury, which convened for the first time since March, when the court system dramatically cut back its operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He was convicted seven years ago in a stabbing incident over a couch in a Mechanic Falls apartment but that victim, who suffered seven stab wounds from Peabody’s stiletto-type knife, survived, according to the Bangor Daily News archives.
Peabody, then 18, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, a felony. He was sentenced to time served or 110 days in jail and two years of probation.
Stanfill has not set a trial date. Peabody is next due in court in November.
If convicted of murder, Peabody faces up between 25 years and life in prison.