A 32-year-old cook accused of killing and
dismembering four people in western Maine last year is taking an
unusual tact for his trial, which gets under way this week.
Christian Nielsen, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of
insanity, has chosen to have a jury — rather than a judge —
decide his fate in Oxford County Superior Court.
That’s a different strategy that some of Maine’s better-known
cases in the past in which defendants used insanity defenses. A
Waterville man who killed two nuns in 1996, and a Bangor woman who
systematically starved her five-yer-old daughter to death in 1993,
had their cases tried by judges rather than juries.
Nielsen is charged with killing and dismembering three women at
the Black Bear Bed &: Breakfast in Newry. He’s also accused of
killing a fourth victim, an Arkansas man who was burned and
dismembered miles away near Upton.