March 17, 2010

Poirier gets five years for killing

— The Associated Press

AUBURN — A man who shot his father to death during his 65th birthday party in Lewiston was sentenced Monday to five years in prison.

Scott Poirier was acquitted of murder, but convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter, in January after contending he was suffering from an ''abnormal condition of mind'' because of sexual abuse he'd suffered at the hands of his father.

The father, Roland Poirier, was shot in the neck through a window as he and other family members sat down for dinner on his birthday on Nov. 8, 2005.

Family members backed Scott Poirier's story of being repeatedly molested by his father as a teenager, but jurors were not allowed to hear from them. The prosecution argued that Scott Poirier had no right to serve as ''judge, jury and executioner.''

Prosecutors on Monday asked that Poirier be sentenced to 20 years in prison, while Poirier's attorney asked that his sentence be limited to time served plus probation.

More than a dozen people spoke on Scott Poirier's behalf during the hearing, asking for leniency.

Judge Joyce Wheeler sentenced Poirier to 12 years in prison, with seven years suspended. Poirier could be out of prison in two years given the 14 months he has already served and credit he could earn with good behavior, Wheeler said.

After sentencing, Poirier was taken to the Androscoggin County Jail following an emotional goodbye with his family, including his children.

He will serve his time at a state prison.

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