AUBURN — An Auburn man was indicted Tuesday in the June 3 fatal stabbing of a Lewiston man.

Bryan Peabody Androscoggin County Jail photo

An Androscoggin County grand jury handed up an indictment charging Bryan Peabody, 25, of 116 Hampshire St. with intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder in the killing of Lawrence Kilkenny, 48.

This week was the first time a grand jury had convened since last winter because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Peabody had been charged in a complaint, but a grand jury indictment finding probable cause is required for a felony case to proceed to trial according to Maine law.

A murder charge is punishable in Maine by 25 years to life.

Peabody appeared at 8th District Court in Lewiston last month by videoconference from the Androscoggin County Jail for a probable cause and bail hearing, at which a judge denied him bail after finding three was enough evidence against him to support a murder charge.

A Maine State Police detective who is leading the investigation into the case testified remotely at that June 22 hearing. Jennifer King said several witnesses told police they had witnessed the incident outside Peabody’s apartment that night.

Assistant Attorney General Robert “Bud” Ellis told Justice Valerie Stanfill that Peabody and Kilkenny had argued and that Peabody had “snapped” and assaulted Kilkenny, who sustained about 20 slashing or puncture wounds, including two in the back that punctured a lung, resulting in a fatal loss of blood.

Defense lawyer James Howaniec told the judge at least one of the witnesses told police Peabody had been injured that night and had retreated to his apartment. King confirmed Peabody had injuries to his fingers and forearms.

Howaniec also said there was evidence a second knife had been used during the altercation, suggesting the possibility Peabody had acted in self-defense.

King said the knife Peabody was believed to have used had not been found during a search near the Androscoggin River.

Howaniec told the judge a hate crime may have been committed against Peabody at the time of the incident

Ellis noted Peabody had been convicted in 2015 of assault and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, involving a knife.


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