PORTLAND — A 51-year-old farmer from rural Maine wept in court and expressed remorse Friday as he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting a friend in the head during a drug-fueled party in a “sex dungeon” of a suburban home.
Bruce Davidson apologized for causing the death of Fred Wilson, a 50-year-old computer technician who was killed when Davidson shot him with a .44-caliber revolver during a night of sexual play at Wilson’s home in South Portland.
Davidson said he pulled a blanket over Wilson after the shooting, kissed him on the forehead and told him he was sorry.
“I’m completely devastated by my actions that night,” Davidson said as he recounted the tragedy.
Wilson’s sister told Justice Robert Crowley that Davidson deserved a long sentence because he didn’t call 911 after the shooting and tried to persuade a third man who was at the party to tell police Wilson had killed himself. Davidson also destroyed evidence and stole some of her brother’s belongings when he left the house, Kim Wilson said.
“Mr. Davidson’s character was shown by his actions after he took Fred’s life,” she said.
Davidson, an organic farmer and former computer technician from Skowhegan who used to go by the last name Davidson-Lavallee, was convicted in January of manslaughter, which carries a maximum 30-year sentence.
The shooting took place April 18, 2009, after the three men had been drinking beer, smoking pot, consuming the party drug GBL, huffing aerosol inhalants and having sex over a 12-hour period in the basement of Wilson’s home.
Davidson said he thought his revolver was empty when he put it to Wilson’s head and pulled the trigger to heighten the sexual intensity. The gun clicked the first time Davidson pulled the trigger, but went off when he pulled it a second time.
The trial brought out details about risky sexual behavior and drug consumption, but the case was about the reckless use of firearms, said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese.
“When you think about putting a gun to a person’s head and pulling the trigger, what could be more heinous than that?” she asked.
Crowley said he didn’t think Davidson was taking full responsibility and that he showed “extreme recklessness” by bringing guns and ammunition to a party where drugs were being consumed in large quantities. Davidson’s attorneys asked for a 4-year sentence; instead, Crowley handed down a 10-year sentence prosecutors had requested.
Tom Hallett, one of Davidson’s attorneys, said Davidson suffers from AIDS and will likely die in prison.
“If he is sentenced to a long sentence, like 10 years, there is no question he will never see the outside again,” Hallett said before the sentence was imposed.