WILTON — A financial adviser and conservative columnist who resigned from a state commission last year after his arrest on a domestic-assault charge was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Lawrence Dwight Jr., 54, who was cleared of the charge, was found by his wife, Adrienne Neary, in their home about 1 p.m. Monday, Wilton Police Chief Heidi Wilcox said Tuesday.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office determined Tuesday that Dwight died from a gunshot wound to the chest and ruled the manner of death a suicide. Police are still investigating the death, Wilcox said.

She asked two state police detectives to assist with the investigation, but declined to say why she requested the help.

Investigators said Dwight shot himself with a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun. There were no signs of a crime, and no suicide note was found, Wilcox said.

On Tuesday, John Frary of Farmington, a friend of Dwight’s, said Dwight didn’t seem distraught during a telephone conversation Monday morning.

“From my information, it had been a normal day up until he had been found dead,” Frary said Tuesday.

Frary is a monthly columnist for the Morning Sentinel and the Kennebec Journal. He and Dwight had been friends for about seven years.

Dwight ended the conversation with Frary by confirming his plans to take a trip to a family compound off the coast of Georgia. Frary said his friend’s demeanor just a short time before the suicide makes it make “even less sense to me now.”

The Franklin County District Attorney’s Office dropped the domestic-assault charge against Dwight after he was arrested by Wilton police in July. The district attorney said there was insufficient evidence to pursue the charge.

Dwight served on the state Economic Forecasting Commission. Gov. Paul LePage asked him to step down after his arrest, according to Adrienne Bennett, the governor’s spokeswoman.

The governor’s office would not comment Tuesday on Dwight’s death.

Dwight was on the board of advisers for the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a conservative think tank. He was a columnist for the Sun Journal and The Maine Wire, writing about state and federal politics, wind power and other issues.

He was an independent registered investment adviser and founder and president of Dwight Investment Counsel.

 

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer David F. Robinson can be contacted at 861-9287 or at: [email protected]