Wilton man pleads not guilty to murder, ordered to psychiatric center for observation


FARMINGTON — A Wilton man pleaded not guilty Friday to killing his grandmother, Joanne Goudreau, 67, on Dec. 20 at the home they shared on Weld Road in Wilton.

Dana Craney, 22, is accused of bludgeoning his grandmother to death with a hammer while she slept, dragging her body into the backyard behind the trailer and covering it with plywood and bags of trash, police said.

Franklin County Lt. David Rackliffe and his police dog, Justice, discovered the body.

The state medical examiner concluded that Goudreau’s death was caused by skull fractures and lacerations of the brain from blunt force trauma, according to a police affidavit filed with the court.


Justice William Stokes signed an order for a second mental health evaluation. He ordered Craney to be committed to Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta for observation and evaluation. Any report issued will be impounded, Stokes said.

Craney stood at the microphone in Franklin County Superior Court, flanked by his attorneys, Walter “Woody” Hanstein and Thomas Carey.

Hanstein told the court that they had explained Craney’s rights to him.

Craney was indicted on Jan. 23 on a charge of intentional or knowing murder.

Stokes gave attorneys 90 days to file motions and pleas.

A bail hearing scheduled for Friday was postponed until after attorneys receive the evidence in the case.

Assistant Attorney General John Alsop said the evidence is still being collected.

Craney will remain held until a hearing is scheduled to determine bail.

Hanstein said after the hearing that Craney is having some significant psychological issues at the jail. Jail personnel contacted Hanstein and asked if he could get Craney into Riverview for evaluation, he said. This evaluation order, as well as the first order, are to investigate Craney’s possible psychological issues, Hanstein said.

The normal waiting list to get committed to the center is 30 days, but they are trying to get him in sooner.

Because attorneys still don’t have the police report, the judge gave them 90 days to file motions and a plea of not criminally responsible, he said.

A conviction on the murder charge carries a minimum of 25 years to life in prison.

Craney, who initially denied killing his grandmother, eventually admitted to Maine State Police that he killed her because he was sick of being abused by her, according to the affidavit.