Man Who Killed Batesville Man, Others in Maine, FIt for Trial - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Portland, Maine

Man Who Killed Batesville Man, Others in Maine, FIt for Trial

PORTLAND, MAINE - A judge in Maine says a man accused of killing a Region 8 man and three others in New England is competent to stand trial.

Christian Nielsen is charged with killing three women at the Black Bear Bed & Breakfast in Newry, Maine, over Labor Day weekend in 2006.  Remans of 50-year-old James Whitehurst of Batesville, were found in a nearby town.  Whitehurst was also a guest at the inn.

Nielsen has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness.

Defense lawyers contended Nielsen was not competent to stand trial because he's emotionally detached and not competent to stand trial because he's emotionally detached and incapable of assisting in his defense.

Authorities say the slayings centered on the Black Bear Bed & Breakfast, where Nielsen was a long-term guest while working nearby as a cook.

The first victim was Whitehurst, who was a handyman who had been staying at the B&B and helping out the owner.  Authorities say Nielsen burned and disposed of Whitehurst's body in the woods in the town of Upton. 

Two days later, he allegedly killed the Black Bear's owner, 65-year-old Jule Bullard.  The following day, Labor Day, he allegedly killed Bullard's 30-year-old daughter Selby and her friend, 43-year-old Cindy Beatson.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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