An assailant who tried to have his victim kept alive on a life-support system said he will not appeal a judge's decision rejecting his request, even though he may face a murder charge as a result.

Noel Pagan of Wellesley, Mass., wanted to prevent Mark Weaver's mother from removing the feeding tube that has kept Weaver alive since a 1985 stabbing in Lewiston. Pagan, 29, served three years in prison for aggravated assault but still could face a murder charge when Weaver dies.Probate Court Judge Dana Childs ruled Tuesday that Pagan could not intervene in the case because his interest in preventing Weaver's death has nothing to do with the family's request that Weaver die peacefully.

"Mr. Pagan's only claim to being an interested party stems from the possibility that when Mark Weaver suffers death following the withdrawal of treatment, Pagan may be charged with Mark Weaver's murder," the judge wrote.

Weaver's mother, Sylvia Lane, said she would proceed with plans to remove the feeding tube Thursday.

Weaver, 26, has been kept alive with the tube for nearly four years since his stab wounds left him in a vegetative state.

Lane said she was pleased with the judge's decision because it was her son's wish that he not be kept alive artificially. "I don't see how he (Pagan) had any right to decide what happens to his victim," she said.

The attorney general's office said it will not decide whether to file charges until after the death. "Until there's a death, there's no cause of death," spokesman David Cheever said Tuesday.

State Deputy Attorney General Fernand LaRochelle said Monday that Pagan could be charged with murder if Weaver dies because it would not be the same crime as assault. The Constitution protects defendants from being prosecuted twice for the same offense.