PARIS — The second of two men charged in a 2009 double murder in Rumford pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of murder.
Richard Moulton Jr., 21, of Mexico was accused in the 2009 fatal shootings of Roger Day, 48, and Victor Sheldon, 22, at their Rumford home. A trial had been scheduled for February.
Moulton entered his pleas in Oxford County Superior Court. No sentencing date was set.
Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said the state would agree to cap Moulton's sentence on each of the two counts at 40 years, to be served concurrently. Moulton can argue for a lesser sentence.
Moulton agreed to testify against any co-defendants in "any cases relating to the deaths" of the victims, the agreement read.
His only co-defendant charged in connection with the case is Eric Hamel, 20, also of Mexico, who pleaded guilty in September to two counts of murder. Hamel confessed to pulling the trigger of the handgun that killed the two men.
Benson agreed to a 50-year cap on Hamel's sentence. George Hess, Hamel's lawyer, said he would argue for a lesser sentence. No sentencing date was set.
Like Moulton, Hamel agreed to testify against anyone whose charges stemmed from the 2009 shooting deaths. No one else has been charged.
According to police, the motive for the killings was revenge: payback to Sheldon for having allegedly assaulted Gayla Sheldon, his estranged wife. The domestic violence assault had reportedly taken place at Moulton's Mexico apartment less than a month before the shootings. On the day Sheldon was killed, that charge had been dismissed.
Hamel told police that Gayla Sheldon had met with him and Moulton three or four times to plan Victor Sheldon's killing. She was afraid Victor Sheldon would get custody of their two sons, Hamel told police. He said he agreed to do the shootings for $2,000.
Victor Sheldon lived in a camper parked in the dooryard of Roger Day's home. The two were playing video games in the living room the night Hamel came to the house and shot them. Moulton, who was in the house at the time, worked with police early in the investigation before he was charged.
Sentencing dates for Moulton and Hamel are not expected to be set until after each has testified before a grand jury and/or at the trial of anyone else charged in the case.
In a jail interview, Moulton told the Sun Journal he should have stayed away from Gayla Sheldon. On the day of his arrest, she stopped speaking to him, Moulton said.
Moulton's hearing had been scheduled for earlier in November but was rescheduled for Tuesday.
During interviews with police last year, Hamel initially denied involvement in the murders, but later confessed that Moulton had asked him to kill Victor Sheldon, and Day if he was at the house. Hamel said he agreed to kill the men, whom he hadn't met.
Hamel said Moulton went to Day's house to visit the men. Hamel went there later and shot Day and Victor Sheldon with a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver stolen from a neighbor. Hamel said Moulton went into the bathroom before the shootings. Hamel said he also planned to shoot Moulton, but not fatally, to make it appear he wasn't involved, but Moulton told him to run instead.
Hamel told police he buried the gun off Oak Street, and later led Maine State Police detectives to the site. The detectives found the gun, shell casings and fragments from gloves Hamel said he was wearing at the time of the shooting.
Neither Moulton nor Hamel had an adult criminal history record or even any driving convictions.
Moulton continued to be held without bail. Hamel also is being held without bail.