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Turner man pleads 'not guilty' to murdering landlords

Patrick Maher of Turner is charged with two counts of murder in the stabbing deaths of Troy and Dulsie Varney.

TURNER, Maine — Patrick Joseph  Maher of Turner pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder in Lewiston District County on Tuesday afternoon, according to Maine Attorney General's Office spokesman Marc Malon said. 

Malon said he is facing charges for the murder of Troy and Dulsie Varney. The couple was killed in their home in the early morning hours of February 12. Maher was renting an apartment from them.

Maher faces two counts of intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder, Malon said.

He will continue to be held without bail at the Androscoggin County Jail, according to Malon. The judge previously ordered that he undergo psychological evaluations to determine if he is competent to stand trial and what his mental state was at the time of the killings.  

According to an affidavit, Maher allegedly broke into the home through a downstairs window and stabbed both victims with a knife, killing them both.

Police arrived at 44A Knight Farm Road in Turner just after 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 12 and allegedly found Troy Varney, 52, unresponsive and "covered in red/brown fluid."

They then found Dulsie Varney, 48, "in medical distress" in the next room, and determined both had suffered stab wounds.

They died later at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Maher was also found later in the house and taken into custody. He was taken to the Androscoggin County Jail, where he was charged with both counts of murder.

An autopsy by the state medical examiner indicated they both died from sharp injuries to the head, torso, and extremities.

Police said the couple's daughter, Shelby Varney, and her boyfriend, Kristian Woodhouse, who live in an upstairs part of the house, went downstairs when they heard a commotion. Shelby Varney tried to treat her mother's injuries.

Woodhouse told police he saw a knife described as a "dagger" lying on the floor where Maher and Troy Varney were lying and a similar knife near Dulsie Varney.

Sheriff's deputies at the scene reported that when they arrived, Maher was covered in blood but had no obvious injuries.

Maher is represented by attorney Henry Griffin. 

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