ALFRED — “I was out of it.”

That’s what Bruce Akers told a psychologist in a 2016 interview at the York County Jail. Akers was describing an altercation with his neighbor, whose body was later discovered on his Limington property under a pile of deer hides and debris.

The psychologist testified Thursday in York County Superior Court in Akers’ murder trial. He is accused of killing 55-year-old Douglas Flint with a machete in June 2016.

Bruce Akers enters York County Superior Court in Alfred at the start of his trial Monday. He is charged with murder in the death of his neighbor Douglas Flint in Limington in June 2016. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

The defendant’s state of mind has been a central question in the case, and the jury has heard from more than a half-dozen mental health professionals who have evaluated or worked with Akers since his arrest. To convict a person of murder, the state has to prove that the defendant acted intentionally or knowingly to cause another person’s death.

A forensic psychiatrist testified Wednesday for the defense that Akers was experiencing a “break from reality,” and she diagnosed him with bipolar disorder with psychotic features, in particular paranoia to the point of delusion.

But the state called another psychiatrist and three psychologists Thursday as rebuttal witnesses, and all four disagreed with that finding. They generally said Akers was not suffering from a major mental illness or experiencing psychosis at the time Flint died, and they said his statements about being suspicious of his neighbor and other people did not rise to the level of a delusional disorder.

“I had the sense that he was acting with a clear intention of mind, with knowledge of the circumstances, and he was anticipating what the results might be of his actions,” Dr. Joseph Wojcik, a clinical psychologist who performs evaluations for the State Forensic Services, said Thursday.

The jury heard information Thursday about interviews with Akers, his treatment at Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, his varied diagnoses and medication, his past hospitalizations for mental illness, and his performance on psychological tests. They all said Akers refused to discuss the actual moment that Flint died, but he did talk about an altercation they had that day over his belief that Flint stole Smirnoff Ice drinks from him.

“He stated that he had made a terrible mistake,” defense attorney Valerie Randall said to Wojcik. “He was out of it, in some strange state of mind, and the whole thing was a mess. Is that correct?”

“Yes,” Wojcik answered.

“When you later went on to determine that he was acting in a goal-directed fashion, you were aware that he had indicated to you that at that time, he was in some strange state of mind?” Randall asked.

“I’m aware that is what he said to me,” Wojcik answered.

“So you just didn’t believe him,” the attorney replied.

“We didn’t talk about that particular moment,” the psychologist said.

Assistant Attorney General Bud Ellis brought up Akers’ comment when he questioned Wojcik a second time.

“‘Out of it,'” Ellis said. “Is that a medical or psychological term?”

“No, it’s not,” Wojcik said.

“Could it mean anything? What does ‘out of it’ mean when somebody says that to you?” Ellis asked.

“It’s a subjective term,” Wojcik answered. “I generally take it to mean, people mean, stressed, overwhelmed.”

Akers, now 61, told the judge Thursday that he would not testify. The attorneys will likely deliver their closing arguments Friday, and then the jury will begin deliberations.

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