Mental evaluation ordered for suspect

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SKOWHEGAN (AP) – A judge denied bail and ordered an evaluation for a man charged with fatally shooting his girlfriend’s 13-year-old son in November.

Todd Curry, 39, of Palmyra, appeared in Somerset County Superior Court for the second time in a week. The first time, Curry pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder on Wednesday. He was back in court on Friday for a bail hearing.

He sat slumped in his chair during Friday’s hearing as Maine State Police Detective Scott Bryant recounted the moments before Anthony Tucker’s death on Nov. 28.

A state police affidavit indicated Curry left his home for fear of being arrested for domestic violence but returned the day before Tucker’s killing.

On the morning of Nov. 28, Curry asked his girlfriend April Cooley to marry him, the affidavit said. But things quickly fell apart as he accused her of being part of a conspiracy against him. Curry threatened to hurt himself, then threatened the family and hit Cooley with his assault rife, the affidavit said.

Cooley and her daughters, Adrienne Tucker, 10, and Alyssa Curry, 6 months, escaped without injury. But Curry shot Tucker on the front lawn, police said.

For now, Curry will remain at the Maine State Prison while Somerset County Sheriff Barry DeLong tries to find room at a county jail closer to Skowhegan.

Janet Mills, Curry’s lawyer, argued that having her client housed 100 miles away at the prison made it difficult for her to prepare his defense. Mills has asked that Curry be held at the Kennebec County Jail in Augusta or the Franklin County Jail in Farmington.

Meanwhile, Curry’s mental status has been questioned, and Justice Joseph Jabar ordered a mental evaluation to determine if Curry is competent to stand trial.

Family members say Curry was manic depressive.

and had been repeatedly hospitalized.

for mental illness. Brain damage caused by a 1986 car crash likely contributed to Curry’s state of mind at the time of the shooting, Mills said.

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