PORTLAND — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court today upheld the conviction of a Skowhegan farmer who killed another man during sex play at a South Portland home in 2009.

Malcolm Bruce Lavallee-Davidson was convicted of manslaughter last year in the fatal shooting of 50-year-old Fred Wilson during a drug-fueled sex party in the basement of Wilson’s home. Lavallee-Davidson had said he checked that the gun was unloaded before going to the bathroom and putting the gun to Wilson’s head after he returned. The second time Lavallee-Davidson pulled the trigger, the gun fired.

The main argument by Lavallee-Davidson’s lawyer involved jury instructions. The lawyer argued that the  jury should have been told that the prosecution needed to meet a standard of beyond a reasonable doubt in challenging Lavallee-Davidson’s assertion that he didn’t think the gun was loaded.

But in a unanimous decision, the justices disagreed. They wrote that the state was required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Lavallee-Davidson acted recklessly or with criminal negligence but was not required to disprove that he believed the gun was unloaded.

Lavallee-Davidson is serving a 10-year prison sentence.