A Waldoboro man accused in the April 2009 murder of Rachel Grindal pleaded guilty to all charges against him April 16 in Lincoln County Superior Court.

Earl D. Bieler III, 25, of 101 Brooks Lane in Waldoboro pleaded guilty to murder, aggravated attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault, burglary with a firearm, theft and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Corina Durkee, 43, of Waldoboro has also been charged with murder, but did not appear in court April 16. Her trial is scheduled to begin May 6.

Bieler and Durkee were accused of attacking and stabbing Grindal, 27, of Waldoboro in the driveway at 161 Controversy Lane at about 10 p.m. on April 19, 2009.

Two other women, who had been riding with Grindal in her minivan, were also attacked after the van pulled into the driveway at 161 Controversy Lane that night.

Tracy Neild, 33, who was in the van and who rented the home at 161 Controversy Lane, was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with a cut throat. She survived the attack and has since been released from the hospital.

Bieler and Durkee had previously pleaded not guilty to all charges.

It was revealed in court Friday that Bieler had agreed to change his plea on the condition that the prosecutors not seek life in prison as his sentence. Justice Andrew Horton said that since Maine has no parole, a sentence of life in prison is just that. The prisoner will die in prison given that sentence, he said.

However, the judge added that no other limitation has been placed on the amount of time Bieler could serve. Horton said Bieler could serve 40 or 50 years in prison or more. In addition, Bieler could face consecutive sentences for the separate charges, rather than serving all of the sentences at the same time, increasing his prison time.

Murder carries a minimum sentence of 25 years.

The sentencing has been postponed until a later date.

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea is prosecutor in the case. Fellow Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber is serving as her co-counsel.

In the grand jury indictments, Bieler and Durkee were charged with causing the death of Grindal and attempting to murder Neild.

“… Earl Bieler, or another person for whom Earl D. Bieler III was legally accountable … intentionally cut Tracy Neild’s throat with a knife intending to cause her death and at the time of the crime, Earl D. Bieler III intended to cause multiple deaths,” the indictment stated.

Durkee was also accused with the exact same wording of cutting Neild’s throat or being accountable for another person who cut Neild’s throat.

They were also charged with breaking into Neild’s home with the intention of committing theft while carrying a firearm.

Bieler was also accused of stealing alcohol from Goodnow’s Variety April 19.

Neild has been out of the hospital for a while. Her injuries caused extensive problems with her ability to speak.

The police affidavit in the case notes that Neild was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to the hospital April 19, 2009, with a large horizontal cut to her neck. The report states that while Neild was unable to speak, she was able in her writings to state that Durkee stabbed her and that Bieler killed Grindal.

During the April 16 court hearing, the judge explained that by changing his plea to guilty, Bieler was waiving his rights, including his rights to a jury trial. The judge gave Bieler several opportunities to make sure that he wanted to change his plea to guilty.

Zainea detailed the state’s evidence against Bieler. She said that had the case gone to trial, she would have called a witness to testify that Bieler had pointed a gun at an employee at Goodnow’s Variety April 19.

The prosecutor said she would also have produced testimony from a witness to the events at Controversy Lane. Shantelle Quint was in Grindal’s minivan on the night of the attack. Quint could testify that Neild got into a fight with Durkee after pulling into the driveway and seeing Durkee in her vehicle. Quint got out of the van to help Neild, according to the prosecutor.

Quint could testify that she saw the gun in Bieler’s hand. Quint called 911 on her cell phone and put the phone in her jacket pocket so Bieler would not see her making the call for help, according to Zainea.

Bieler entered the van and began to fight with Grindal over the keys, Zainea said. Quint saw Neild coming around the van, bleeding from the throat, and began screaming, according to Zainea. After that, Quint got back into the van and told Grindal they needed to get out of there. She could testify to hearing Grindal say, “He stabbed me! He stabbed me!” according to the prosecutor.

At that point Quint ran from the van and called 911 again from a neighbor’s house. Bieler told police he had pursued Quint into the woods, according to Zainea.

The prosecutor said Neild’s trachea and veins in her throat had been cut, requiring emergency surgery. She can now speak only in a whisper and will need more operations in the future.

Grindal was pronounced dead at the scene from her stab wounds, which cut several of her organs and her aorta.

Zainea said the gun was found in the woods near the scene. It had cigarette papers in the barrel that bore Bieler’s DNA. The knife, also found in the woods, was found to have both Neild and Grindal’s DNA on it. The sheath for the knife contained DNA that matched Neild and Bieler.

Zainea said that had the matter gone to trial, she would also have brought forward evidence concerning the blood on Bieler’s clothes and the splatter pattern.

Several family members of those involved in the case were present in the courtroom including Grindal’s parents, Neild, and Grindal’s wife, Madalynn Wiggins, of Waldoboro. They declined to comment after the proceedings.