LEWISTON — A 25-year-old Auburn man appeared by videoconference in court Friday, one day after he was arrested and charged with murder in the stabbing death of a 48-year-old Lewiston man.

Bryan Peabody Androscoggin County Jail photo

Bryan Peabody was held at the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn for the brief appearance at 8th District Court, where a judge found there was initial probable cause to charge him with intentional or knowing murder of Lawrence Kilkenny, punishable by 25 years to life in prison.

Parties in the case are expected to conference next week about scheduling a hearing at which the judge will hear arguments on bail and probable cause.

Until that hearing, Superior Court Justice Valerie Stanfill ordered Peabody held without bail. She ordered that an affidavit describing evidence supporting Peabody’s arrest be impounded.

Shortly after the court appointed an attorney to represent Peabody, his family hired two Lewiston attorneys, James Howaniec and Jesse James Ian Archer. They appeared in court remotely by Google Meet on Friday for the hearing, having conferred briefly beforehand with Peabody, Howaniec said.

After the hearing, Howaniec and Archer met with their client at the jail for roughly an hour, Howaniec said.

Because the charge is a felony, the case can’t go to trial unless Peabody is indicted by a grand jury. But due to the pandemic, the convening of grand juries has been suspended in Maine courts until September.

Police said Peabody and Kilkenny had been known to each other before the incident.

An autopsy at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta revealed that Kilkenny died from stab wounds.

Police had been called to the area of 116 Hampshire St. at about 11 p.m. Wednesday for a report that a man had been stabbed in the chest in a driveway.

Peabody was living at an apartment at that address.

When police and medics first arrived, police found Kilkenny suffering from a deep wound to his chest. He was taken to Central Maine Medical Center, but died shortly after.

In the summer of 2013, Peabody was charged in a stabbing that police said was the result of an argument over a couch. In that attack, the victim suffered numerous knife wounds in his side, abdomen and head, but survived. Peabody was charged with elevated aggravated assault and later convicted of misdemeanor assault and felony criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon for which he received a 3-year suspended sentence.

Kilkenny’s criminal history includes more than a dozen criminal convictions, including assault.


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