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Scott Monroe — 861-9253 firstname.lastname@example.org
Oct 31, 2009
Newport: Sandra Goodrich stood outside her home on Rutland Road on Friday afternoon, surrounded by her daughter and two good friends who traveled more than 1,000 miles to be with her.
They talked. They hugged. They laughed.
Considering what had happened inside her house Monday night — as evidenced by the large bruise on her chin and neck — Goodrich’s mood might seem surprising. The moments of lightness and fellowship are, and will be, fleeting, she admits. Goodrich doesn’t know what to do now except live her life, one day at a time.
“I’m going to do everything I can to get better,” she said in an interview. “Physically, I’ll bounce back; but emotionally, it will take a while.”
It only took a few minutes Monday night for the life she knew to unravel.
Her 45-year-old son, Perley Goodrich Jr., is accused of severely beating her with his fists and a handgun, then shooting his father, Perley Goodrich Sr., killing him.
Sandra said she’s grateful for the aid of many people: for her husband, especially, who “saved my life.”
After Perley Jr. suddenly began attacking her and trying to bind her hands with duct tape, Perley Sr. opened the bedroom door and drew his son toward him instead. Perley Jr. then went into the bedroom and fatally shot his father, police say.
“He would have killed us both,” Sandra Goodrich said.
Sandra fled to a neighbor’s house and they called police, setting off a three-day manhunt for Perley Goodrich Jr. that ended early Friday morning.
As she reflected Friday on what happened, Sandra Goodrich couldn’t yet make sense of why her son would suddenly snap.
But the seeds were there, she said: “It’s been going on for years.”
The younger Goodrich, Sandra said, suffers from bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive disorder, a psychiatric diagnosis that typically involves drastic mood swings.
According to a police affidavit that outlines the charges against Perley Goodrich Jr., Sandra “did not mention what had triggered the incident” but said her son “was crazy and that she had taken him to the hospital three times this week and that they had given him a new medication.”
They had recently discussed bringing him to Acadia Hospital of Bangor, which specializes in mental health treatment, according to the affidavit.
Sandra Goodrich confirmed that her son had been brought to a psychiatric hospital and that he recently was injected with the antidepressant Trazodone, which is used to treat depression and anxiety disorders.
Perley Goodrich Jr. didn’t want to take the medication, Sandra said, saying that “it’s dangerous” and made him feel “violent.” Still, Sandra said the medication could not have been what apparently drove her son over the edge.
“It’s been a long, sad story for many years,” Sandra Goodrich said. “I told (Perley Jr.) he was dangerous and he would hurt somebody.”
According to court records, Perley Jr. was convicted on a charge of criminal mischief in 2001; police at the time said he had threatened his brother, Kenneth, with a large knife.
Sandra Goodrich said she is perhaps most sad that the deadly incident might have been avoided.
She’s grateful for everyone involved — police who responded and searched, neighbors, family, friends for their support, the town of Newport, and her employer, Wal-Mart, for giving her time off to recuperate.
Sandra and her family and friends said they want to plan a public vigil for Perley Sr., for which details haven’t been set.
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A Penobscot County Superior Court jury ruled today that Perley Goodrich Jr. was sane when he fatally shot his 76-year-old father, Perley Goodrich Sr., in Newport in October 2009. Goodrich was found guilty on Tuesday of manslaughter and aggravated assault for beating his mother before he shot his father.
The Bangor Daily News reports that defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein told jurors today that Goodrich’s actions were the result of a severe mental defect.
Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said it isn’t enough to prove Goodrich was or is mentally ill, but that it needed to be proved he was psychotic at the time of the shooting.