A Cumberland County grand jury has indicted a Windham man on charges of murder and manslaughter in the Jan. 14 killing of his wife.

Noah Gaston, 33, was identified as his wife’s killer from the beginning, but he told police that he shot her inside their house believing she was an intruder. Alicia Gaston, 34, suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach and was dead by the time paramedics arrived.

A week after the shooting, Gaston was arrested and charged with killing his wife. Court documents revealed that he gave an inconsistent account of what happened in the early morning hours of Jan. 14 and that his version of events did not match up with evidence. Gaston said he shot his wife as she was coming up the stairs, but police said evidence shows she was near the top of the stairs when she was shot.

Alicia Gaston

Alicia Gaston

Court documents also suggested that Gaston was unhappy in his marriage and believed his wife was holding back his dream of being a musician.

The couple’s 8-year-old daughter told police that she heard her parents yelling in “their scared voices” before the shooting and then heard “someone tumbling down the stairs.” Asked whether her parents yelled often, the girl said, “Sometimes you hear it seven times a week and sometimes you hear it once, or one time a month.”

Gaston was denied bail at a hearing last month and remains in jail pending trial. Murder defendants are rarely released on bail.

It’s not uncommon for a defendant to be indicted on both murder and manslaughter charges, although Gaston would almost certainly not be convicted on both charges if or when his case proceeds to trial. Likely, a jury would decide whether it thought Gaston was guilty of murder or manslaughter.

Murder is defined by law as knowingly or intentionally causing the death of another person. Manslaughter, by definition, means recklessly, or with criminal negligence, causing the death of another human being.

Gaston’s defense attorney, Luke Rioux, has said he believes that the state does not have a strong case for murder.

The Gastons had three young children together, all of whom were inside the home when the shooting happened. The children have since been placed with family members.