BANGOR, Maine — The accused murderer who escaped from a psychiatric hospital about three weeks after he allegedly killed a local man pleaded not guilty Monday to slaying Melvin F. Abreu, 28, of Bangor on June 9 at a Bangor apartment.

William L. Hall, 30, of Bangor entered the same plea to escaping June 28 from Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center, where he’d been taken by police for an evaluation.

Hall was indicted in July by the Penobscot County grand jury on charge of intentional or knowing murder or depraved indifference murder and escape.

According to police reports and court documents connected with the case, Hall killed Abreu after an altercation in Hall’s apartment at 94-96 Fourth St.

Bangor police said dispatchers received a hang-up 911 call at 5:09 a.m. reporting someone had been injured. When emergency personnel arrived, they found Abreu dead in the driveway.

Hall later told told police that he strangled Abreu and threw him out of his second-story window, according to court documents.

His leaving the psychiatric hospital without permission three weeks later prompted an intense manhunt that involved personnel from the Maine State Police, the Bangor Police Department and the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department.

Hall was captured in Brewer the next morning. He reportedly swam across the Penobscot River and was spotted by a fisherman and others.

He is being held without bail. A trial date has not been set.

If convicted of murder, Hall faces a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life. On the escape charge, he faces up to five years in prison.

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