AUGUSTA — The question of whether a Winthrop teenager should be tried as an adult on double murder charges in connection with the stabbing deaths of his parents is set to be explored at court hearings later this year.

Andrew T. Balcer, now 18, was brought to the Capital Judicial Center on Friday for the brief hearing, at which attorneys first talked to the judge in chambers before Balcer came into the courtroom.

Balcer is accusing of killing his parents, Antonio and Alice Balcer, both 47, early on Oct. 31, 2016, in their Winthrop home. The case against Balcer, who was 17 at the time, is being handled in juvenile court; however, the state has requested a separate hearing in a bid to have Balcer prosecuted as an adult.

On Friday, Judge Eric Walker said that hearing, which attorneys estimated would take two to three days, probably would take place this summer.

Balcer, wearing a two-piece blue uniform, his dark hair reaching to the nape of his neck, said nothing during Friday’s hearing as attorneys and the judge discussed scheduling.

Balcer’s attorney, Walter McKee, said the court-ordered mental health evaluation being done by Debra Baeder, chief forensic psychologist at the State Forensic Service, is incomplete. McKee said Baeder is scheduled for one more session with Balcer, and he anticipated that her report would be completed in April.


“I expect that our expert will be reviewing that report,” McKee told Judge Eric Walker.

Assistant Attorney General Megan Elam said the prosecutor’s office had just received the medical examiner’s reports about the two autopsies and would be sending those to the defense attorneys.

Walker also said another status conference could be set for April, and McKee indicated it might not be necessary to bring Balcer for that hearing.

In contrast to Balcer’s previous hearings, which were attended by a number of news media representatives as well as Balcer’s family members, Friday’s courtroom had only one spectator.

Afterward, attorneys declined to say anything else about the case.

Balcer has been held at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland since the day of the killings.


According to an affidavit by Maine State Police Detective Abbe Chabot, Balcer himself called 911 from the family’s Pine Knoll Road home about 1:45 a.m. Oct. 31, 2016, to say he had stabbed his mother, his father and the family dog. He asked arriving police to check on his brother, telling them his brother “is going to need counseling after this.” Balcer also told them, “I let him go or live.”

Chabot’s affidavit said Balcer’s clothing and shoes were stained, apparently with blood.

There has been no indication of a motive, and all but the charging document and the affidavit have been sealed by the court. The affidavit was released Jan. 12, 2017.

It said a preliminary report by the medical examiner indicated Antonio Balcer “had 13 stab wounds to the chest and torso.” At that time, Alice Balcer’s autopsy had not yet begun, but police at the scene reported observing a stab wound on Balcer’s mother’s back.

A knife and a handgun were found in the kitchen where Antonio Balcer’s body was found.

At court in November, Balcer’s attorney entered “no answer” to the two charges of intentional or knowing murder listed on the juvenile petition. The judge said he would enter denials on Balcer’s behalf. Responses to juvenile charges are different from those in the adult criminal justice system.


At that proceeding, the judge also told Balcer that if the state succeeds in having him prosecuted as an adult, he faces 25 years to life in prison on each count.

Andrew Balcer was a senior at Winthrop High School at the time of the slayings. In the days after his arrest, a school official described him as a gifted student.

Antonio Balcer retired in 2012 as a chief warrant officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. Alice Balcer also served in the Coast Guard, which is where they met 25 years ago, according to their obituaries.

Antonio Balcer was active in local motorcycle groups and known locally as “the Rev” for serving as chaplain and officiating at weddings. Alice Balcer worked at Winthrop Veterinary Hospital, and before that at the Kennebec Valley Humane Society shelter in Augusta. She was an outdoors enthusiast.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

Twitter: @betadams

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