BELFAST — The Jackson man who pleaded guilty to killing a Florida firefighter and drug dealer last year during an argument over a debt was sentenced Monday morning to 30 years in prison with all but 16 years suspended.
Daniel Porter, 25, addressed the courtroom — including his victim’s widow — during a long, emotional sentencing hearing at Waldo County Superior Court. He said that he was ashamed of his choices to sell oxycodone to Mainers and to kill 31-year-old Jerry Perdomo of Orange City, Fla., with a semiautomatic rifle on Feb. 16, 2012. Porter pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this month, but not guilty to the more serious charge of intentional or knowing murder.
“Mrs. Perdomo — I understand right now that you probably hate me, and that maybe my words will fall on deaf ears,” he said, speaking directly to Tonya Perdomo. “I think of it every night. I wake up with it every morning. It’s something I’ll live with for the rest of my life. I’m beyond sorry for my role.”
Justice Robert Murray handed down the sentence in the courtroom, which was packed with Porter’s family members and supporters as well as with some of Perdomo’s relatives and friends who had made the trip from Florida to be present during the hearing. After Porter serves his sentence, he will spend four years on probation, during which time he cannot use or possess alcohol or illegal drugs and cannot have contact with the victim’s family. He also must pay $11,694 in restitution to Perdomo’s family to pay for funeral expenses.
The slain Florida man’s mother, sisters, stepfather and widow gave long, heart-wrenching testimony about the hole that was left in their lives when Porter killed Perdomo, describing him as a courageous, joyful and good man. Then Porter’s family members and friends testified about their belief that he was driven to commit murder by circumstances that had spiraled out of his control — and that he deserved a short sentence that would give him a chance at living a good life after his release.
“I can’t help but be struck by the inconsistencies of the descriptions of these two individuals and the events of that day,” Murray said. “It cannot be denied that the violent, lethal killing of Jerry Perdomo was the culmination of a series of threats and drug dealing activities that went tragically bad.”