AUGUSTA — A man found not criminally responsible by reason of insanity for killing his brother while in a psychotic state in 2008 — and who now has a business putting out videos and books in which he channels spirits and practices witchcraft — is seeking to be discharged from state custody.

Enoch Petrucelly in 2008 when facing murder charges in connection with the killing of his brother on North Haven Island in Knox County. Petrucelly was found not criminally responsible by reason of insanity. Having progressed through the forensic mental health system, Petrucelly is seeking to be removed from state supervision. Morning Sentinel file

Enoch Petrucelly, 38, of Augusta and formerly of Palmyra, was committed to the custody of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services for mental health treatment after fatally stabbing his brother in 2008 on a visit to North Haven Island in Knox County.

Petrucelly was first sent to Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta. After successful treatment, he eventually moved to an apartment, where he lives independently, but under supervision.

His petition seeking release from state custody was heard Wednesday by a judge at Capital Judicial Center in Augusta, with Petrucelly saying he has proven over many years he is not a risk to himself or others, and he does not need supervision.

He said he takes his medication fastidiously and wants to make sure he never has another psychotic episode, has a good support system of friends and family, watches out carefully for his physical and mental health and is ready to move forward with a life no longer monitored by a team of caregivers.

State mental health evaluators, however, oppose discharging Petrucelly, saying he is not ready to be unmonitored and on his own. They expressed concerns about Petrucelly’s well-documented spiritual beliefs. Similar concerns were brought up two year ago, when Petrucelly requested a change in his privileges.


Laura Yustak, an assistant attorney general in Maine, said that at the time of his brother’s death, Petrucelly was suffering delusions, including some that involved summoning and religion and channeling, which have parallels to Petrucelly’s current writings and online video recordings, in which he claims to channel spirits and gods through himself, including two channelings of Lucifer, whom he described as the “Roman god of light.”

Petrucelly said he has about 4,500 YouTube followers, and 40 Patreon subscribers who pay for subscriptions to see the content he posts. Petrucelly also does channeling and readings at holistic fairs in the area.

In court Wednesday, Petrucelly testified the channeling he does now is completely different than the psychotic state he was in when he killed his brother. Channeling spirits is peaceful, he said.

“At the time I was psychotic, in 2008, I was experiencing very intense hallucinations and delusions that were very terrifying and confusing,” Petrucelly said. “Those experiences are very in your face, and uncontrollable and sinister.

“What I do currently is an induced state, not something that is out of control, not a hallucination or delusion. It’s an experience that requires a lot of discipline, a very different experience when compared to psychosis.”

Petrucelly was initially committed to the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, where members of his treatment team said he responded almost immediately to medication for his schizophrenia, which had caused auditory hallucinations that were a factor in his using a sword, concealed inside a cane, to stab his brother to death.


Petrucelly has since progressed through the forensic mental health system, moving from Riverview to a group home and then, in 2014, to a supervised apartment. Since late 2015, he has been living independently in an apartment. He sees mental health workers once a week, and has monthly checks to confirm he is taking his medication.

Petrucelly is seeking to be fully discharged from state custody, which would mean he would be under no supervision to ensure he is taking his medication. He said he will never forget what he did to his brother, but has moved forward with his life. He said he wants to feel free of his past, and be free from having to be monitored by state officials.

Petrucelly said it was terrifying when he was in psychosis, and he plans to always take his medication.

Petrucelly’s lawyer, Harold Hainke, said the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of his client. Hainke said Petrucelly has not posed a risk to himself or others for more than a decade, he has taken his medication effectively for many years. Hainke also said Petrucelly is the epitome of someone who strives to maintain physical and mental health, and has an extensive support system.

Mariah Campbell, a forensic intensive case manager at Riverview and Petrucelly’s case manager since 2022, said his treatment team opposes his request to be discharged. She said Petrucelly puts up walls between himself and his treatment team, not immediately disclosing what is happening in his life and making it hard for those treating him to gauge his progress and mental health.

Yustak and Campbell said Petrucelly’s treatment team would agree to reduce the amount of contact they have with him, requiring him to check in less often. They said that would allow them to see how he does as his independence increases, while still providing a safety net and a team of caregivers trained to look out for changes that could indicate his mental health was deteriorating.

Superior Court Justice Daniel Billings heard the case and said he will take it under advisement before issuing a decision.

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