MACHIAS, Maine — A Maine man accused of killing a 75-year-old man and leaving a bloody knife stuck in the wall near the body was committed to state psychiatric care on Friday.
A judge accepted Hazen McDugald’s plea that he was not criminally responsible for the charge of manslaughter because of mental illness. A forensic psychiatrist testified that McDugald suffers from schizophrenia and was delusional at the time of the killing.
McDugald, then 39, told an Eastport police officer arriving on the scene on Sept. 10, 2015, that someone had mistaken the soundtrack from the movie “Halloween” on TV for real cries for help. He then fled while the officer found the victim, 75-year-old Maurice “Allen” Harris, on the floor of his home.
Assistant Attorney General John Alsop said McDugald was not charged with murder because prosecutors didn’t feel that they could prove intent. Instead, McDugald was charged with manslaughter, meaning his reckless actions caused the victim’s death.
While detained, McDugald was charged with aggravated assault for an unprovoked attack that left a corrections officer unconscious. That case, too, was resolved Friday by an insanity plea.