Maine man pleads not guilty to killing, escape

October 31, 2011 - 10:30 AM

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A Maine murder suspect who escaped from a psychiatric hospital by climbing over a fence a few weeks after he was charged has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Thirty-year-old William Hall of Bangor entered his plea Monday to charges stemming from the killing and his escape from the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center, where police had taken him for an evaluation.

Hall was indicted in July on charges of intentional or knowing murder and escape. Police say he strangled 28-year-old Melvin Abreu and threw him out of an apartment window on June 9.

The Bangor Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/s0oiW0) Hall told police he strangled Abreu. His disappearance from the hospital prompted an intense manhunt. He was captured in Brewer the next day after reportedly swimming across the Penobscot River.