A judge indicated Tuesday that he intends to accept a man’s insanity defense in the fatal stabbings of a couple in Turner.

Patrick Maher contended in Superior Court that he was not criminally responsible for his actions because of mental illness. He’s accused of killing his landlords, Troy Varney and Dulsie Varney, last February.

A forensic psychiatrist testified that Maher has schizophrenia and suffered a psychotic break in the days leading up to the killings.

Justice Thomas McKeon indicated he would accept findings that Mayer was not criminally responsible, but he did not issue a formal ruling Tuesday.

“The community and the family did not deserve the loss that they suffered but the law spells out a very specific way to handle these matters and the judge’s decision reflects the law,” defense attorney Henry Griffin told ABC affiliate WMTW.

Prosecutors said Mayer broke through a window and ambushed the couple. He lived in an apartment about a quarter-mile from the Varney’s farmhouse.

Trevor Varney, brother of Troy Varney, told the judge that family members live in fear that Maher will return, and they want him to be committed for life.

“All I ask is for the terror to end, to have closure, to be safe in the knowledge that we will be left alone and this killer never returns,” he said.