AUGUSTA — Now competent to face criminal charges, a former Penobscot County man on Tuesday admitted he had violated probation conditions stemming from his conviction of attempted murder.

Christopher Currier, 37, most recently of Greenbush, is scheduled to be sentenced at a hearing in late August on charges of failing to notify officials of an address change and of committing criminal mischief at a hospital.

Meanwhile, Currier is expected to be moved from the forensic side of Riverview Psychiatric Center to the civil side, and the judge told him Tuesday that his behavior there will affect the sentence he receives. The forensic unit handles patients placed by a court in connection with criminal charges, whereas the civil unit has voluntary and involuntary patients admitted there following evaluation at other hospitals.

Currier has been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, and he is being treated with medication for that, according to court records.

He was convicted in Aroostook County Superior Court in Caribou of attempted murder and elevated aggravated assault for the May 2005 beating of John H. McDonald, of Presque Isle. Currier used a dumbbell to beat McDonald in the head.

Currier was sentenced to 16 years in prison with all but 10 years suspended and four years of probation. He was released from prison on March 26, 2014, according to the Department of Corrections.

Currier previously had been deemed mentally incompetent to face the new probation violation charges and has been housed at the state’s forensic hospital while treatment providers tried to restore his competency.

On Tuesday, Justice Robert Mullen and Currier’s attorney, Donald Hornblower, agreed with a psychologist’s May 29 assessment of Currier that concluded he was competent to proceed.

Currier himself responded by saying, “Yes, sir,” and “No, sir,” to a series of questions by Mullen and indicated he wasn’t suffering from any confusion or mental difficulty at the hearing in the Capital Judicial Center.

Currier admitted to violating probation on Aug. 14, 2014, by failing to notify his probation officer of a change of address and by committing criminal mischief Aug. 18, 2014, at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta. Court records didn’t include any details on the mischief at the Augusta hospital.

Mullen said that as a result of a discussion with attorneys, he understood that Currier would be transferred to the civil unit from the forensic unit at Riverview, where he has spent the past few months.

Conditions of release require Currier to sign a Maine PreTrial Services contract and to report to his probation officer within 24 hours if he is released from Riverview.

“I don’t plan to rush right out of Riverview,” Currier said. He told the judge he is taking advantage of the programs offered and learning coping skills. “I kind of scared myself after 10 years in prison. I didn’t realize how sick I was, and I don’t want to make that mistake again.”

Mullen told him that his sentence “will be impacted positively or negatively with respect to your compliance with conditions of probation.”

The state, according to Assistant District Attorney Alisa Ross, was not proceeding with a third probation violation allegation, which says that Currier failed to pay more than $19,000 of the $20,000 in restitution that had been ordered for McDonald’s benefit.

“I don’t know that Mr. Currier has any ability to pay restitution,” Hornblower told the judge.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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