A man who spent three years in prison for aggravated assault asked a judge Monday to stop doctors from removing life-support aids from the comatose victim.
Noel Pagan’s interest in the case is simple: If Mark Weaver dies, Pagan could be charged with murder.
“My client has the right to intervene,” Pagan’s attorney, Robert Mullen, told Probate Court Judge Dana Childs. “He has the right to be heard.”
An attorney for Weaver’s family, Charles Kadish, said Pagan should have no legal standing in the case.
“The issue at this hearing is what is in Mr. Weaver’s best interests,” Kadish said. “What Mr. Pagan is trying to do is not in Mark Weaver’s best interest” but an effort to deny Weaver’s right “to determine his own medical treatment.”
Pagan stabbed Weaver on a Lewiston street in 1985, and Weaver lapsed into a coma when the neck wounds kept oxygen from reaching his brain. Weaver, who doctors say is in a “permanent vegetative state” with no hope of recovery, is under his mother’s care at her Portland home.
Meanwhile, Pagan, now 29, has been released from prison and lives in Wellesley, Mass.
Deputy Atty. Gen. Fernand LaRochelle, chief of the criminal division of the attorney general’s office, confirmed in an interview Monday that Pagan could be charged with murder if Weaver dies, but would not say whether any additional charge would be filed.
LaRochelle did say that a successful prosecution for murder would have to establish “that there’s a causal relationship between the behavior of Pagan and (Weaver’s) death.”
Childs had already ruled a feeding tube could be removed, effective Thursday. Pagan asked the judge to reverse the decision and Childs said he would rule on the request today.
Kadish argued that Weaver, now 26, does not deserve to remain “in this limbo of living death.” He denied that Weaver is brain-dead and said doctors believe he could remain alive as long as 40 years.