Fourteen-year-old Brooke McLaughlin lived at this home on Blackberry Road in Mount Vernon with her boyfriend, Aidan Grant. A hearing is being held this week in Waterville to determine if Grant, 16, will be tried as a juvenile or as an adult in her July 2022 death. Derek Davis/Staff File Photo

WATERVILLE — Fourteen-year-old Brooke McLaughlin died last year after being stabbed 10 times during an argument with her boyfriend, Aidan Grant, at her mother’s Mount Vernon home, where the young couple lived, according to testimony in juvenile court Tuesday.

It was Grant’s 15th birthday. He was smoking marijuana and drinking vodka, he later told officials. He and McLaughlin began discussing their prior relationships, which escalated into an argument that turned physical.

Grant grabbed a steak knife and stabbed her repeatedly, before vomiting and fleeing in a red Chevrolet Impala that belonged to the girl’s mother.

That was among the evidence that emerged at Waterville District Court during a hearing to determine if Grant, who recently turned 16, will be tried as a juvenile or an adult for McLaughlin’s July 18, 2022, murder.

The manner of McLaughlin’s death and other details previously had been kept private because Grant is a juvenile. The case is sealed until after the bind-over hearing is completed and a decision made by District Court Judge Andrew Benson about how Grant will be tried.

If Benson determines Grant is to be tried as a juvenile, Grant may be kept at Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland until he is 21, and then released. The minimum sentence for an adult — for murder — is 25 years in prison.


Grant’s court-appointed lawyer, John Pelletier of Readfield, must prove that binding Grant over as an adult is not appropriate. Pelletier argued that Grant’s stabbing of McLaughlin was a “heat-of-the-moment offense,” as described by two psychologists who interviewed Grant at the state’s request and testified Tuesday.

“The crime here was violent, but it was not premeditated,” Pelletier said.

Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley, however, argued that Grant changed his story about the killing three times, each time figuring out how it would best benefit his case.

Psychologists Peter Donnelly and Luke Douglass both concluded from their interviews and examinations of Grant that he would benefit from being held at Long Creek, where he would receive mental health counseling and treatment and would become rehabilitated.

Both said they learned from their interviews with Grant, family members and school officials that Grant was passive, submissive and an average student who had no criminal history or history of antisocial behavior, and did not associate with “delinquent” youths.

They said Grant suffers from anxiety and told them that smoking marijuana helped him feel better. Grant had moved into McLaughlin’s house three or four months prior to her killing, and they were living with little supervision, cooking their own meals and engaged in a sexual relationship with no tools to help them deal with their emotions in such a relationship, according to testimony.


“They were living as adults,” Pelletier said, “and engaging in behaviors that adults tell kids they should avoid.”

Sibley said that after the killing, Grant told officials an intruder who was holding something had come into the house, at which point Grant fled. Sibley also noted that Grant told a staff member at Long Creek that the stabbing occurred in the living room of the McLaughlin home, but he told the psychologists it happened in the bedroom.

Sibley said the spread of blood from McLaughlin’s wounds was not consistent with all the stabbings having occurred in the bedroom, including that there was a lot of blood in the living room, where her body was found.

Grant told the psychologists, according to testimony, that McLaughlin was the aggressor before the killing, and had struck and choked him. Sibley said detectives wrote nothing in discovery materials about seeing marks on Grant’s neck.

McLaughlin’s body was found by her mother, Rebecca, who arrived home sometime after 6 p.m. the day of the killing to find vomit in the bathtub and her daughter’s body, according to testimony.

About 20 of her friends and family members sat quietly Tuesday inside the courtroom, behind Sibley.


When Grant first appeared in court, flanked by sheriff’s deputies, Rebecca McLaughlin began to weep and left the room briefly.

Grant, expressionless, also sat quietly through the hearing, much of the time with his head down.

Grant reportedly drove the Impala around after the killing. Sibley tried to show Grant was not impaired by alcohol or marijuana, with surveillance video of the area where he was driving showing the car being driven normally and with use of a turn signal, she said.

Grant had moved in with Brooke McLaughlin and her family because his parents were separated and his mother had moved out of town. His father had a job that took him away from home a lot.

Grant and others told psychologists that McLaughlin was afraid Grant would leave her for someone else, and she could get stressed out and anxious about that.

At one point in the hearing, which lasted 5 1/2 hours, Pelletier asked Donnelly how Grant felt about McLaughlin being gone.

“He said that he hated it and he misses her every day,” Donnelly said.

The bind over hearing is scheduled to resume at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Comments are not available on this story.