PARIS – The prosecutor in the Christian Nielsen murder case has requested that an impoundment order on state medical examinations be lifted.

Nielsen, 32, is accused of shooting and mutilating a man and three women in Upton and Newry over Labor Day weekend last year. All four of the victims were connected to the Black Bear Bed & Breakfast where Nielsen had been living while working as a short-order cook in Bethel.

Nielsen entered an initial plea of not guilty.

The motion by Andrew Benson, assistant attorney general in the criminal division and prosecuting attorney, follows a request by defense attorney Ron E. Hoffman that Nielsen’s plea be amended to include “not criminally responsible by reason of insanity or mental disease or defect.”

Nielsen has undergone several examinations by the State Forensic Service, and is undergoing a more in-depth exam at Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.

In October, Justice Robert E. Crowley ordered that the exam results be sealed from all parties unless the defense introduced expert testimony or entered an insanity plea.

Hoffman’s amended plea, as well as a motion to suppress evidence and statements, was filed with Oxford County Superior Court on May 14.

Benson sent his request to the court Tuesday, and asked Crowley to dismiss Hoffman’s motion to suppress evidence and statements made by Nielsen to police.

Hoffman said the amended plea is based on the nature of the crimes and Nielsen’s subsequent actions. Nielsen was set to the Cumberland County Jail after striking a fellow inmate with a mop wringer at the Oxford County Jail.

While at Cumberland County Jail, Nielsen sliced his forehead with a razor blade and dropped so much weight that Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion got a court order to force feed him. Nielsen then began eating more, and his condition improved enough to enable him to be moved to Augusta on May 15.

Nielsen’s brain scan last fall revealed no tumor, according to court records.

In the motion to remove the impoundment order, Benson said the forensic reports are necessary for the preparation of the case, and the defense has no objection to the release of information.

If Crowley grants the motion, the attorneys will receive the forensic results, but the information will not be released to the public.

Benson said the State Forensic Service examinations look at issues of competence, abnormal condition of mind, or legal insanity in a person accused of a crime.

He said he was not surprised to see the amended plea because he assumed the defense would eventually enter one. As such, he said the state’s plan to put Nielsen on trial in October has not changed.

Benson said he has not had any discussions with Hoffman over making an agreement prior to that date, and it is “highly unlikely” that an agreement based on the insanity plea will occur.

The attorneys and Crowley will discuss the possible release of the examination results today. Benson said they will also discuss the motion to suppress evidence, if it is granted.


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