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Trial tentatively set for Rockport man accused of killing four

By Stephen Betts | Oct 28, 2020

Lowell, Mass. — A trial for a 25-year-old Rockport man accused of the September 2017 murders of his mother, her parents and their caretaker has tentatively been set for February.

A presumptive trial date of Feb. 22, 2021, was chosen with two interim status dates: Dec. 9 and Jan. 19, said defense attorney Edward Wayland, who represents Orion Krause.

The defense entered in March 2019 a not-guilty plea for Krause based on lack of criminal responsibility due to mental disease or defect. The state conducted a forensic evaluation of Krause.

Wayland said the government’s expert did finish his report, but he cannot release it before the state does.

The case has been in limbo due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The case is being heard in Middlesex County Superior Court in Lowell, Mass.

If the state's expert agrees with the defense's assessment, Krause would be found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a mental institution for an indeterminate time.

If the state's expert disagrees, the trial would be held and the jury would decide whether Krause was criminally responsible.

Krause was indicted in March 2018 by a Middlesex County grand jury on four counts of first-degree murder.

First-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Krause has been held in jail since his arrest Sept. 8, 2017, for the murders of his 60-year-old mother, Elizabeth "Buffy" Krause, of Rockport; her parents Frank Darby Lackey III, 89, and Elizabeth Lackey, 85, both of Groton, Mass.; and the grandparents' caretaker, Bertha Mae Parker, 68, also of Groton.

According to police reports, Krause confessed to police that he killed his family with a baseball bat and said he "freed" them.

A judge ruled in October 2017 that Krause was competent to stand trial.

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