BELFAST — Tensions were high among families and friends at the Waldo County Judicial Center as Matthew Pendleton made his first appearance in court since being charged with the murder of Kevin Curit.

Justice Robert Murray ordered Pendleton be held without bail, pending a motion for a hearing on a Harnish bail proceeding, and set a status hearing for Feb. 6.

Attorney Jeremy Pratt is representing Pendleton. If convicted, Pendleton could spend life in prison, Murray said. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.

As previously reported, on Friday, Jan. 6, at approximately 9:39 a.m., the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from 54 Thorndike Road in Lincolnville for an unresponsive male. Sheriff’s deputies responded and found Curit, 47, deceased, according to a news release issued Saturday night by the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit responded. Detectives and evidence technicians worked throughout the day and into the early morning hours of Saturday conducting interviews and processing the scene.

Following an autopsy conducted later that morning at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta, the death was ruled a homicide. The cause of death is being withheld at this time, as requested by the Attorney General’s Office.

Pendleton was taken into custody and charged with Curit’s death Saturday, Jan. 7.

As apparent friends and family of the victim and defendant left the courtroom Tuesday morning, some shouted profanities at Pendleton, while others slammed doors as they exited. Several could be heard saying “rot in hell” as Pendleton was escorted from the courtroom. The bailiff ordered those people to leave the courtroom immediately.

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