LEWISTON — A 14-year-old Auburn boy denied in court Thursday that he tried to kill his neighbor with a hammer and a hatchet this week.

Brendan Conroy of Auburn appeared in 8th District Court, his hands cuffed and his ankles shackled. He wore a gray sweatshirt and dark blue pants. He bowed his head of curly brown hair and stared through his glasses.

Conroy also denied charges of attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and aggravated assault, all Class A felonies.

The victim, John R. Stevens, 56, was listed in good condition Thursday at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Conroy’s mother and stepfather sat by his side during the courtroom hearing.

His mother, Kerry Hall, was expected to apply for a court-appointed attorney for her son.


Conroy is being held at Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland, but his attorney, Chelsea Peters, said Thursday that a review of the boy’s detention should be held next month.

Judge Susan Oram said Conroy doesn’t have a place in the community where he can be released and that the seriousness of the charges pose a potential safety issue in the community.

Four court security officers and an Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office deputy stood guard in the otherwise nearly empty courtroom.

District Attorney Andrew Robinson asked the judge for a psychological evaluation aimed at determining Conroy’s competency to stand trial.

Peters is seeking additional evaluations to determine whether Conroy has any mental health issues, and to gauge any possible cognitive limitations and his level of criminal responsibility at the time of the assault.

Conroy is accused of intentionally hitting Stevens in the head repeatedly with a hammer and, afterward, with a hatchet, with the intention of killing him on Tuesday, according to court documents.


Police responded to Huard Avenue where they found Stevens. He was hospitalized and underwent surgery for his wounds.

Investigators said Conroy has a history of “violent outbursts.”

Although Conroy and Stevens knew each other, police said the attack appeared to be random.


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