AUGUSTA – Three months after his arrest, a homeless man from Seattle was in court Thursday to plead not guilty to killing an Augusta woman 36 years ago.

Gary S. Raub, 64, appeared frail during his appearance in Kennebec County Superior Court and at one point fell to the carpeted floor after his chair tipped over. He wore headphones to aid his hearing.

Raub pleaded not guilty to criminal homicide in the first degree, as it was called in 1976, when Blanche M. Kimball, 70, was killed in her home.

Following a recent link made by DNA evidence, state and Augusta police arrested Raub in mid-October in Seattle and charged him with Kimball’s fatal stabbing. Raub rented a room from Kimball around the time she was killed.

Raub’s return to Maine was delayed by at least a month because of a medical issue.

Raub, wearing an orange jail uniform and sporting a long white beard and close-shaven head, hobbled into court with help from two sheriff’s deputies.

Trembling as he walked, Raub quickly asked to shed his heavy orange coat as he sat at the defense table. One of his thumbs was bandaged.

After the judge left the courtroom, Raub leaned forward to allow a deputy to remove his headphones, his chair toppled backward and he fell to the floor. He was helped up and wiped a hand across his brow, his wrists still in handcuffs.

Kimball’s death is the oldest unsolved homicide case to result in charges in state history, police said.

Raub was known as Gary Robert Wilson when he lived at Kimball’s home in 1976. He is listed as a transient on the Kennebec County Superior Court complaint.

Kimball was a retired dental technician and practical nurse who occasionally took in boarders.

Justice Michaela Murphy ordered him held without bail.

Murphy told Raub that conviction of the crime carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of release.

Raub was a suspect early in the Kimball case, but police didn’t have the evidence to charge him, according to court documents.

Raub’s re-emerged as a suspect when he was charged in the 2011 stabbing of a Seattle man.

His DNA matched DNA on a bloody knife found at the Kimball murder scene, as well as a blood drop on the knife drawer in Kimball’s kitchen, according to a court affidavit.

 

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

[email protected]