AUGUSTA — A man found not criminally responsible for beating and kicking an 88-year-old man to death in Portland in 2001 will be allowed to travel to Portland to be with his daughter while she receives medical treatment.

Derek Soucy, 43, was found not criminally responsible in the death of John McCann, whom he beat and kicked to death in the parking lot of a Portland shopping center in 2001.

Soucy told police after the incident he thought McCann, whom he did not know, was the devil.

Soucy was committed to the custody of the commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and initially placed in the state’s mental health hospital. Any increase in his privileges must be approved by the courts.

Soucy now lives in a supervised apartment on Commercial Street in Augusta, a move allowed by a previous court order. Soucy is also allowed to travel to Portland for medical treatment for injuries suffered in a car accident in 2016 in Gardiner.

On Thursday, Justice Thomas McKeon approved an order allowing Soucy to also travel to Portland to be with his young daughter at the hospital while she undergoes treatment for a respiratory problem. After listening to testimony from psychologists, McKeon said he was convinced the relatively small change in Soucy’s privileges would not increase the likelihood that Soucy would be a danger to himself or others.

Lorraine Zamudio, a psychologist with Riverview Psychiatric Center’s outpatient services, testified that Soucy, a first-time father, is “a very devoted and very loving father.” She said he is very close to his daughter and would feel a disconnect if he is not able to travel to be involved in her medical treatment.

Zamudio said Soucy, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, manages stress well and reports to staff when he is feeling anxiety.

Assistant Attorney General Laura Yustak said the state did not object to the change in Soucy’s privileges because conditions were attached specifying he not stay overnight and he be assessed by mental health workers before and after his trips to Portland.

Soucy’s lawyer, Harold Hainke, said those conditions were fine, and McKeon said he would include them in the court order.

Yustak said family members of McCann were contacted before the hearing and did not object to Soucy’s request. They did not attend Thursday’s court hearing at the Capital Judicial Center.

In 2015, Soucy won a judge’s permission to move into an independent apartment in the Gardiner area. In 2016, however, he was in a car accident in which he apparently tried to drive his car off a bridge in Gardiner in what might have been an attempt at suicide, according to Yustak.

Zamudio said it was not clear whether that accident was a suicide attempt and Soucy has no memory of the incident. She said emergency workers who responded to the accident reported finding valium in his mouth.

After the accident, Soucy was placed back at Riverview, then released to a group home until 2017, when he moved to a supervised apartment in Augusta. He still lives there, and is required to sign in and out when he leaves and inform staff of his activities.

Soucy is no longer allowed to operate a motor vehicle, so he would be taken by his daughter’s mother to the hospital in Portland to visit their daughter. Zamudio said Soucy and his daughter’s mother have a good coparenting relationship.

After his visits to Portland, Soucy is to be brought back to Augusta by members of the Riverview outpatient services staff.

Debra Baeder, chief psychologist for the Maine State Forensic Service, said she believes Soucy is psychiatrically stable and responsible, and that being an actively engaged parent is therapeutic for him.

“He’s had his ups and downs, but he has always been a transparent, active and intelligent participant in his own treatment,” Baeder said, noting she supported Soucy’s request.

Soucy did not speak in court Thursday, other than thanking Hainke after the hearing for his support.

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