FARMINGTON — A Wilton man charged in connection with the murder of his grandmother will be sent to Riverview Psychiatric Center for evaluation and observation.

Dana Craney, 22, will be sent to the state psychiatric treatment center for the mentally ill as soon as a bed there becomes available. The decision followed a request by defense attorney Walter Hanstein during an arraignment Friday at Franklin County Superior Court.

Craney entered a not guilty plea to murder charges in connection with the Dec. 20 bludgeoning death of his grandmother, Joanne Goudreau, 67.

Hanstein said in an interview after the hearing that Craney was having significant mental health problems while being held at the Somerset County jail in East Madison, although he wouldn’t elaborate.

Justice William Stokes, who agreed to send Craney to Riverview, told Hanstein and Assistant Attorney General John Alsop that Craney will be allowed 90 days to decide whether he will use an insanity defense at trial.

Shortly after his arrest, neighbors told the Morning Sentinel that Craney behaved strangely, that he often dressed all in camouflage clothing and was seen walking along the side of the road, carrying knives or swords he had fashioned himself.

Craney, who is the son of a former Lewiston man convicted of murder in 1993, said little at Friday’s hearing other than “not guilty” when asked how he was pleading to the charge.

Goudreau’s body was found in December near the mobile home she and Craney had shared at 1130 Weld Road in Wilton.

According to court documents, Craney told detectives at the time that he hit Goudreau in the head with a hammer six or seven times while she slept, then left her body behind the trailer in a depression in the yard.

Craney is alleged to have told police that he killed Goudreau because she abused him for his entire life and he “needed to end it.” Court documents filed by prosecutors said that neighbors told police it was Craney who repeatedly abused Goudreau physically.

Goudreau’s neighbor, Sharon Gregory, told investigators that Goudreau visited her home with blood on her face after a fight with Craney two weeks before her death. Gregory told police that a week after that visit, Goudreau told her that she needed to leave her current living arrangements, but didn’t say why.

The court documents also state that neighbor Tim Gregory, husband of Sharon Gregory, heard Craney say he could kill his grandmother and get away with it.

Craney’s mother, Katherine Lord, said that she had spoken with Craney that afternoon and asked to talk with Goudreau, her mother. Lord told police that Craney claimed that he and Goudreau had gotten into an argument and that she had left.

Tim Gregory previously told the Morning Sentinel that he got a phone call around 11:15 a.m. Dec. 20 from Goudreau, who said she was having problems with Craney and that she was calling Gregory from the porch outside the house.

Then in the early afternoon, Craney called their house two or three times asking about Goudreau, Gregory said.

“We had a feeling something was wrong,” he said.

If convicted of murder, Craney faces 25 years to life in prison.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]


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