SKOWHEGAN (AP) – A Fairfield man has been sentenced to 37 years in prison for the shotgun slaying of his ex-wife in May 2003.

Gregory Warmke was sentenced Tuesday by Justice S. Kirk Studstrup in Somerset County Superior Court. A jury found the former 45-year-old landscaper guilty of murder during a trial last April.

Leslie Bullock was shot dead at her home in Fairfield about a year after the couple divorced. Warmke never denied shooting Bullock. During his trial, Warmke’s lawyer portrayed him as a passive man who sank into depression following the breakup of his marriage.

Warmke testified that he believed God had instructed him in a dream to kill his ex-wife and then kill himself.

In court Tuesday, Studstrup ordered the 37-year sentence after hearing emotional testimony from Bullock’s family and friends. The judge said Warmke planned the shooting and that it was not clear how remorseful Warmke was.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson, who sought a life prison term for Warmke, said, “This is a case where premeditation in fact rises to levels I have never seen.”

Benson said Warmke described in letters he had written but never mailed to Bullock his intention to shoot her twice. He shot Bullock with a 12-gauge shotgun, once in the head and once in the body.

The 46-year-old victim was described by Jayme Dennis, her supervisor at the state Department of Health and Human Services, as smart and professional with a special gift for helping children.

After the sentencing, Warmke leaned forward and held his head in his hands for several minutes.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.