AUBURN — An Auburn man was arrested and charged with murder Thursday night in connection with a fatal stabbing the night before.

Bryan Peabody Androscoggin County Jail photo

Bryan W. Peabody, 25, was arrested at about 6 p.m. after he was taken to the Auburn police station by family members for questioning.

Peabody was located Thursday afternoon after Auburn and Maine State Police had announced that they were searching for the suspect in the Wednesday night stabbing on Hampshire Street of Lawrence Kilkenny, 48, of Lewiston.

An autopsy determined Kilkenny, a painter, died from stab wounds.

The two men had known each other, Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said in a written statement Thursday evening. Investigators did not otherwise comment on possible motives.

Friends of Kilkenny suggested the attack may have been prompted by a dispute over a woman. According to court records, Peabody has a violent history.

In the summer of 2013, he was charged in a stabbing that police said was the result of an argument over a couch. In that attack, the victim suffered numerous knife wounds in his side, abdomen and head but survived. Peabody was charged with elevated aggravated assault and later convicted.

Peabody was taken to Androscoggin County Jail and is expected to make an initial court appearance on Friday or Monday, according to McCausland.

Friends of Kilkenny on Thursday mourned a man they said was kind, generous and non-confrontational.

“He was such a great guy,” said longtime friend Pauline Dunham. “Such a great friend. He was really the type of guy who would do anything for you.”

Kilkenny had been happy, Dunham said, because he recently got to go fishing and was expecting to move into a new apartment next week. She said Kilkenny was not the type of man who would have started a fight.

Maine State Police and Auburn Police investigate Wednesday evening’s fatal stabbing on Hampshire Street in Auburn. Larry Gilbert/Sun Journal

Police had been called to the area of 116 Hampshire St. at about 11 p.m. Wednesday for a report that a man had been stabbed in the chest in a driveway. When police and medics first arrived, police found Kilkenny suffering from a deep wound to his chest. He was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston but died shortly after.

The stabbing occurred outside the apartment house where Peabody lives, police said. The building is across the street from Gowell’s Variety.

Several people at the scene were questioned about the stabbing.

According to McCausland, an autopsy was performed on Kilkenny Thursday at the Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta. Detectives from both agencies and the State Police Evidence Response Team had remained on scene on Hampshire Street throughout the day, conducting interviews and collecting evidence.

Anyone with information regarding this case, should contact State Police at 624-7076 or Auburn Police 333-6650.

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