A 41-year-old man with a lengthy criminal past was shot dead outside a West Gardiner residence early Saturday.

Maine State Police identified the victim as James Haskell, most recently of Chelsea. No one has been charged in connection with the shooting, which remains under investigation.

The incident took place outside a house on Yeaton Drive, which is off the Hallowell-Litchfield Road, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Kennebec County sheriff’s deputies were sent to the scene after an emergency call from the home at 2:45 a.m. State police followed a short time later, McCausland said.

Haskell was dead when police arrived, and there was no indication that the shooting was a suicide, according to McCausland.

He said a number of people were at the home for a gathering at the time of the shooting, and all are cooperating and have been interviewed by police.


An autopsy will be performed by state medical examiner’s office.

“We will take the interviews, the medical examination information, and compile that with the evidence from the scene as we try to determine the circumstances under which the shooting occurred,” McCausland said.

He said Haskell had lived in several other locations in the Augusta area.

Haskell had a significant criminal history in Maine dating back to 1994, according to his record with the Maine State Bureau of Identification, and spent a good part of his adult life incarcerated.

His convictions included misdemeanors such as criminal mischief and theft but also felony burglary and gross sexual assault.

In 1995, he was sentenced to eight years in prison with all but three suspended for a host of charges, including burglary, but it doesn’t appear he served the full sentence because he was arrested for assault in 1997.

In 1998, he was charged with gross sexual assault, a Class A felony, and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

More recent convictions include drug possession and eluding an officer in 2013. He also twice failed to comply with the Maine Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

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