Slaying suspect’s mental state questioned

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SKOWHEGAN (AP) – A Palmyra man charged with fatally shooting his girlfriend’s 13-year-old son in November accused the woman of conspiring against him with police and aliens from outer space, according to an affidavit.

The information raises questions about Todd Curry’s mental state at the time of the shooting. The issue is expected to come up Friday in Somerset County Superior Court where a judge will decide whether Curry should undergo a complete mental health examination.

The affidavit was made public Wednesday at Curry’s arraignment, where he pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of Anthony Tucker at the Palmyra home where they lived.

According to the affidavit signed by Maine State Police Detective Christopher Tupper, Curry had left the home after a fight with April Cooley about a week before the murder. After arriving back home on Nov. 27, Curry seemed happy and everything appeared to be fine, Cooley told police.

The following morning, Curry asked Cooley to marry him, the affidavit said. But he then accused her of being part of a conspiracy against him, saying that Cooley, aliens and police were all out to get him. Curry took a cast iron poker from a wood stove and held it to his throat before threatening Cooley and their 6-month-old daughter, Alyssa, the affidavit said.

Cooley told police she wrestled the poker from Curry and tried to call 911, but Curry grabbed the phone and the call was disconnected, the affidavit said. When she tried to call again, Curry dumped a bucket of water over her head and retrieved what Cooley described as an AK-47 rifle, striking her on the back of her head with the butt.

When Cooley ran from the home, her 10-year-old daughter, Adrienne, also escaped with Alyssa in her arms. Cooley told police that she heard two gunshots and then heard Adrienne yell, “He shot Anthony.”

Anthony and Adrienne are Cooley’s children from a previous relationship.

Curry’s attorney, Janet Mills, said Wednesday that her client is filled with remorse. While Curry appears rational now, his state of mind at the time of the shooting is clearly an issue, she said.

“This is a very violent act, and toward a boy he cared for deeply,” she said.

Mills said she doesn’t object to Curry undergoing a mental health evaluation, but she doesn’t want him discussing the events of Nov. 28 with an examiner before she receives police reports giving details of the investigation.

Without those reports, she said, she does not have enough information to counsel her client about his defense options.

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

A week after his graduation from Cheverus High School, Curry drove his car through a stop sign in Saco and slammed into crossing traffic, leaving him in a coma for a week and with a brain injury from which he never really recovered.

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