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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Killing suspect blamed abuse

11-14-2006 Maine:

LEWISTON - Scott Poirier told police he shot his father in the throat because his father had sexually abused him and he wanted to protect his own children, according to an affidavit released Monday.

The Sabattus man told police he was molested by his father, Roland Poirier, and he suspected a sibling had been victimized as well, according to the document, signed by a state police detective.

Scott Poirier, 34, is charged with murder in the Nov. 8 shooting of his father at the elder man's home on Grove Street.

Roland Poirier was shot in the neck as he sat at the table celebrating his 65th birthday with a roomful of friends and family members, police said. Investigators said Scott Poirier stood in the yard of the home and shot his father through a sliding glass door.

Hours before the shooting, Scott Poirier had become emotionally upset, punching holes in the walls of his Davis Lane home, according to his roommate, whose descriptions of the incident were included in the affidavit.

Police believe Scott Poirier went to his father's house at about 7:45 p.m. with a loaded .270-caliber rifle.

"Lies will end tonight," Poirier is quoted as telling a relative in a telephone call shortly before the shooting. "Take care of my boys; I am a good dad."

Scott Poirier has four sons. The oldest are 6-year-old twins.

"Scott advised me that he had been sexually abused by his father, Roland Poirier, when he was younger," Maine State Police Detective Mark Lopez wrote in the search warrant affidavit. "Scott went on to say that he had four sons and it was not going to happen to them and that is why he went to his father's home and shot him in the throat."

Police investigating the shooting obtained a warrant to search Scott Poirier's pickup truck and his home as well as contents of a cell phone. Police were searching for "written, typed or electronic notes or journals regarding past sexual abuse of Scott Poirier by Roland Poirier or evidence of premeditation of this crime."

Police did not disclose what was found during the searches.

The elder Poirier, a successful operator of a landscape business, was never charged with any crime related to sexual abuse. Police said they are not aware of any complaints against him in the past.

Scott Piorier is scheduled to appear in court Friday for a hearing on the prosecution's motion for a psychological exam.

He is being held without bail at the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn pending a court hearing later this month. His lawyer, Thomas Peters, declined to comment on the case Monday. ..more.. by Mark LaFlamme , Staff Writer

State: Son planned killing

1-17-2008 Maine:

AUBURN - Raymond Poirier said Wednesday his brother, Scott, had made a veiled reference to shooting his father nearly a year before he actually did.

Raymond Poirier took the stand in Androscoggin County Superior Court on the first day of testimony in the murder trial of Scott Poirier, 35, of Sabattus.

Attorneys for both sides told the jury of eight men and seven women that they agreed on most of the facts surrounding the slaying of Roland "Jerry" Poirier.

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese said Scott Poirier had been depressed and possibly suicidal the night of Nov. 8, 2006. He had told a friend and some family members his father had sexually abused him when he was a teenager.

Poirier climbed into his pickup truck with a .270-caliber Browning rifle and drove to his father's Lewiston home on Grove Street where he was celebrating his 65th birthday with family members, including children and a baby, Marchese said.

Scott Poirier parked in front of his sister's house next door and walked around the back of his parents' home. There, he stood in the rain and pointed the rifle at his father through a glass door, using its hunting scope to take aim. When he squeezed the trigger, the bullet traveled through the French doors. It grazed the elbow and back of his aunt, Pearl Roger, who sat at the dining table, shattered a wine bottle and struck his father in the neck, killing him.

Poirier walked back to his sister's house, put the rifle on the ground and returned to his parents' home. There, he told a Lewiston police officer he had shot his father.

The two sides in the case will disagree on Poirier's state of mind when he pulled the trigger, the attorneys said in opening statements.

Marchese said she will prove that Poirier intentionally or knowingly caused his father's death, necessary in Maine for a murder conviction.

She said the evidence she'll present will show Poirier was not psychotic, not delusional nor insane at the time he pulled the trigger.

Marchese said Poirier was drinking and drugging, and was "out of control" before the shooting.

Raymond Poirier said his brother had changed for the worse before the shooting, and started missing work at the family excavation business.

At a New Year's party, Scott Poirier was upset and raised the issue of sexual abuse again. Raymond said he tried to console his brother, but Scott later picked a fight. Raymond said they nearly came to blows, but were kept apart by friends. His brother then grabbed him, pulled him close and whispered, "Don't you think I've never looked at him through a scope before." Raymond Poirier said he interpreted that to mean his brother was talking about their father.

Marchese presented other witnesses, including two police officers who responded to the Poirier home the night of the shooting. They testified that Scott Poirier was calm and didn't appear to be intoxicated.

"In this case it was a bad decision, but it was Scott Poirier's decision that he made," she told the jury.

Rather than getting counseling for the abuse, he took matters into his own hands, Marchese said. "He decided he was going to be judge and jury," Marchese said. "It was not his decision to make."

Defense attorney Steven Peterson told the jury the case would hinge on his client's state of mind at the time of the shooting.

Poirier was distraught that night. He penned a suicide note. He drank heavily, was aggressive and incoherent, Peterson said.

After the prosecution rests, Peterson said a group of mental health experts will testify for the defense.

Peterson urged jurors to keep an open mind throughout the trial, which is expected to continue through next week.

He said outside the courthouse that he hadn't decided whether his client would testify. He said Justice Joyce Wheeler told attorneys in the case that she would rule later on whether several alleged victims of the elder Poirier would be allowed to testify. ..more.. by Christopher Williams , Staff Writer

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