Abnormal Condition of the Mind

This complicated topic, central to the criminal law and the formation of intent, was the critical element in the cases cited below. Please refer to the Online Publications referenced below at the end of this page for further information.

††††††††† State v. Bechard††††††††† Somerset County Superior Court††††††††Skowhegan, Maine

†††† Mr. Bechard was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder secondary to his attacks on the residents of a nunnery.Expert testimony by Dr. Charles Robinson established that Mr. Bechard lacked the substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions.He was found not criminally responsible.The role of delusions and hallucinations (and the differentiation of the manifestations of these symptoms from the manifestations of alleged substance abuse and anti-social personality disorder) were keystone elements in the expert testimony.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Defendant's Attorneys:

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Walter Hanstein, Esq.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Farmington, Maine†††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††(207) 778-2959

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Michaela Murphy, Esq.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Waterville, Maine††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (207) 873-0781

(See also newspaper article "Doctors relate tales of madness in Bechard trial")

††††††††† State of Maine v. Kigas††††††††† Penobscot County Superior Court††††††††† Bangor, Maine

†††† Defendant Kigas starved to death her young daughter over a period of five weeks.Defense expert Robinson demonstrated that the Defendant lacked the substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of her actions because of hallucinations and delusions suffered by the Defendant.These hallucinations and delusions caused the Defendant to believe that she was pregnant with a child fathered telepathically by Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny and that she was being tormented by devil worshipers in her apartment complex.

These symptoms caused her to believe that her child was possessed by evil and could be delivered back to God only in death through starvation.The Defendant was found not criminally responsible.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Defendant's Attorney:

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Perry O'Brian, Esq.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Bangor, Maine†††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††(207) 942-4697

(See also newspaper article "Tonia Kigas found not guilty")

††††††††† State v. Roberts†††††††††† Kennebec County Superior Court†††††††††† Augusta, Maine 

†††† Mr. Roberts had acknowledged the shooting death of his best friend in the course of a night's drinking.The State alleged that the shooting was an act of anger and sought conviction for murder.Defendant's expert Dr. Charles Robinson testified that the crime scene, Roberts' history and witness statements were all consistent with a failed suicide attempt the victim tried to foil.Roberts had a history of such attempts designed to bring about his "rescue" and thereby validate his right to live.In remarkable compromise, the jury found Roberts not guilty by reason of insanity.He was discharged from in-patient psychiatric care six months later.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Defendant's Attorney:

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Robert Sandy, Esq.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Waterville, Maine††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (207) 872-7727

††††††††† State v. Kerrigan†††††††††† Androscoggin County Superior Court††††††††† Lewiston, Maine

†††† Defendant Kerrigan, after terrorizing people at a party at the home of a friend, was engaged in a roadside shoot-out with law enforcement officers.The Defendant had a history of mental illness and psychiatric hospitalization and raised the defense of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity.Prosecution expert Dr. Charles Robinson provided testimony counter to that of the defense expert witnesses.The plea of Not Guilty by Insanity did not prevail.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Prosecuting Attorney:

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Craig Turner, Esq.††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††Lewiston, Maine†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (207) 784-1397

††††††††† State v. Dedekian††††††††† Kennebec County Superior Court††††††††† Augusta, Maine

†††† Defendant Dedekian was charged with the suffocation death of her infant son.The defense retained Dr. Charles Robinson as an expert.At the conclusion of each of two contested hearings, the defense prevailed in their assertion that the Defendant was incompetent to stand trial.After four years of in-patient psychiatric treatment, the patient's competence was attested to by Dr. Robinson.At sentencing, the Judge ordered the Defendant to serve a six year term of probation to the satisfaction of her treating psychiatrist.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Defendant's Attorney:

†††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††John Pelletier, Esq.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Augusta, Maine††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (207) 622-6161

State V. Ramsey
Waldo Superior Court††† 
Belfast, Maine 

Ms. Ramsey was found Not Criminally Responsible by Reason of Mental Disease in the
suffocation death of her infant son. The jury found in agreement with Dr. Robinsonís
testimony, that Ms. Ramsey post-partum depression had rendered her psychotic thereby
substantially incapacitating her ability to aspirate the wrongfulness of her



Defense Attorney:


John Pellitier

Augusta Maine


State V. Austin
Kennebec Superior Court††† 
Augusta, Maine 

Ms. Austin brought about the death of her four year old daughter over the course of
a three day psychotic episode. She was found Not Criminally Responsible by Reason of
Mental Disease which rendered her incapable of appreciating the wrongfulness of her




Defense Attorney:


John Pellitier

Augusta Maine


State V. Bowie
Penobscot Superior Court††† 
Bangor, Maine 


Mr. Bowie lived alone with his aging father. The defendant became increasingly

paranoid in regard to his fatherís behavior. In a delusional state he hammered his

father to death, berried him in the snow and covered his head with hubcap. Defense

expert Charles Robinson PHD evaluated the defendant and found that he lacked the

substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions. Mr. Bowie was

found not criminally responsible.


Defense Attorney:

Walter Hanstein, Esq.

Farmington Maine




State V. Kelly
Somerset Superior Court†† 
Skowhegan, Maine 


Mr. Kelly was a combat veteran of the Vet Nam war. He began experiencing

flashbacks and delusional believed that he was engaged in a combat situation. He

alluded authorities for several days in the Maine winter but was ultimately

apprehended. Defense expert Charles L. Robinson PHD explained his behavior as a

result of his PTSD and Co-morbid psychiatric condition. He was found not criminally

responsible for his conduct.


Defense Attorney:


Anthony Shusta

Madison Maine




See also the online publications: