Kierstead pleads not guilty to murder at arraignment

By George Chappell | Nov 07, 2012
Source: Photo Illustration Daniel Dunkle Andrew Kierstead and the site of the shooting in Cushing.

Rockland — A Tenants Harbor man pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Nov. 7 in a case where he stands accused of killing a Cushing man.

Andrew J. Kierstead, 40, was in Knox County Superior Court on a murder charge in connection with the shooting death of Richard L. Mills.

Kierstead stood before Justice Jeffrey Hjelm Wednesday and pleaded not guilty.

Assistant Maine Attorney General and prosecutor Leane Zainea asked the court to order a forensic evaluation of Kierstead to determine his state of mind at the time of the shooting.

Defense attorney Steven Peterson of Rockport, said later, that he argued against the request, because the prosecution had not provided any discovery for the request.

"The judge agreed with me and denied the request," Peterson said.

Hjelm said the state can re-file its request at a later time.

Zainea said the state wanted to have the evaluation done as close to when the incident occurred as possible. She said she expected the state to be providing the discovery evidence to the defense within 20 days.

Meanshile, Kierstead remains in jail, where he has been held without bail since the time of the shooting.

Kierstead was arrested on Sept. 27 and indicted Oct. 10 by a Knox County grand jury.

According to the police affidavit, Kierstead said he fired a shotgun repeatedly at Mills outside the victim’s home at 40 far Meadow Lane in Cushing because the victim had hooked him on drugs and had been supplying him for 10 or 15 years, but then shut him off for not paying money owed.

Kierstead told police that after he shot Mills, he took pills with the intent to overdose, according to the affidavit, but when woke up, hoped it was a dream, went outside and saw Mills, and called 911.

Investigators said they found five 12-gauge shells near the truck. One gunshot hole was found in the truck.

Inside the residence, officers found a suicide note, one empty methadone pill bottle, one empty hydrocodone bottle, one hydrocodone bottle containing four tablets and one hydrocodone bottle containing 27 tablets.

The autopsy performed Sept. 28 by the Maine medical examiner’s office found four wounds to Mills’ front with 12-gauge slugs and one birdshot wound to his right buttock.

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