Fred Roberts is accused of setting a January fire to the home he shared with his longtime companion, Barbara King, who was injured when forced to jump from a second story window to escape the flames.
“After some consultation between the state's doctors and our doctor we have come to a resolution,” said Stephen Smith, attorney for Roberts. “We anticipate that the court might accept a not guilty by reason of insanity plea at some point – in the near future.”
Smith added, “Mr. Roberts has been a hard working farmer his entire life. This situation was so completely out of character for him that not guilty by reason of insanity is certainly the correct outcome.”
King reported that Roberts hadn't been acting like himself, and he also appeared to have different personalities while talking to law enforcement, claiming his twin brother actually set the fire.
No date has been set for the next hearing, but prosecutors agree with the anticipated plea.
“We expect eventually that he will be found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to the Department of Mental Health for a commitment to Riverview,” said Christopher Almy, Penobscot County district attorney.
“If a person is found not guilty by reason of insanity in the state of Maine they are committed to Riverview for an indefinite period of time,” he added.
In order to be released, those committed must petition the court.
On Tuesday, several members of Robert's family were in the courtroom supporting him.
“They are a very close family,” his attorney said.
All the psychologist involved agree that Roberts currently is competent.
“Mr. Roberts was present, he understands what is going on and we look forward to a good resolution to this terrible situation,” Smith said.