ALFRED — An Old Orchard Beach man serving a life sentence for murdering his grandmother in 2012 was denied his request for a reduced sentence.

Derek Poulin, 29, appeared in York County Superior Court last month to ask Justice John O’Neil to reconsider the sentence handed down in 2015.

Poulin’s attorney, Chris Nielsen, argued that the life sentence Poulin received was “cruel and unusual punishment,” and said the court failed to consider Poulin’s young age and his mental health, as well as his lack of any prior criminal history.

Poulin was 23 when he murdered his 61-year-old grandmother, Patricia Noel, by beating her with a golf club and stabbing her about 70 times in her Old Orchard Beach home. Poulin then set fire to the house where he and his father also lived.

Prosecutors described Poulin at his trial as an unemployed young man more interested in playing video games than a getting a job. He targeted his grandmother, they said, after she asked him to move out.

Nielsen said at the time of the crime, Poulin’s brain was still developing. He said if Poulin was given a lesser sentence, he could leave prison and show that he had matured and become a better person.

Justice O’Neil disagreed in a written decision last week. He said his original 2015 decision did not violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment and concluded that a life sentence was appropriate.

“This was a brutal murder involving multiple weapons and was perpetrated upon someone who loved the defendant and had provided him with a place to live,” O’Neil wrote.

The series of “cold and calculating” actions after the murder, including burning Noel’s body and the attempt to destroy the crime scene by setting the house on fire showed Poulin’s lack of remorse, the judge said.

Poulin unsuccessfully tried to have the case appealed by the Maine Supreme Court, arguing that he had not had a fair trial in 2015.

Derek Poulin is escorted into York County Superior Court in Alfred on Tuesday. Justice John O’Neil sentenced Poulin to life in prison for murdering his grandmother in Old Orchard Beach in 2012. (Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald)


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