HOULTON — Frank Blackie, 57, of Hodgdon pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Wednesday in Aroostook County Superior Court in Houlton on a charge that he intentionally or knowingly murdered Kenneth Kirby of Linneus.
The incident took place shortly before 11:30 p.m. on July 23 in Blackie’s home on U.S. Route 1 in Hodgdon, following an altercation between the two men. Though reportedly friends, Blackie is alleged to have shot Kirby after Kirby refused to leave Blackie’s home.
The state has charged Blackie with murder on the basis that since he pointed the gun at Kirby, he intended to kill him.
Justice Paul Pierson, who presided at the arraignment, made no decision on the request to release Blackie on bail, but said he would review it.
In seeking bail for Blackie, defense attorney Brian Swales of Houlton argued that Blackie did not intend to kill Kirby, but rather tried to force him to leave by threatening him with the gun. As such, he said, the shooting was actually manslaughter.
State police documents, Swales said, suggest that Blackie told police and another friend that Kirby had hit him for no reason and then refused to leave when asked.
He noted that Blackie was in his own home confronted by a man who had just hit him hard enough to draw blood, and for no apparent reason.
“Anybody who goes through that situation is going to be concerned about what’s going on,” Swales said.
He agreed that shooting Kirby was wrong, but added that when Kirby refused to leave, Blackie couldn’t just let him stay and then go lie down.
“What kind of person isn’t going to leave when someone points a gun at him,” Swales said.
Additionally, Swales said that Blackie’s gun had six bullets in it, yet he only shot once. After shooting, he followed Kirby to the door, watched him get on his motorcycle and drive away.
Kirby was found dead a short distance away on a neighbor’s lawn along U.S. Route 1.