NORTH CONWAY, N.H. (AP) – The case of a Maine woman charged with manslaughter in the Christmas Eve shooting death of a Conway man is headed to Superior Court.

Sarah Hersh of Fryeburg is charged in the death of Douglas Silvio, 42.

District Court Judge Pamela Albee ruled Thursday there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to Superior Court, where a grand jury will decide whether Hersh will be indicted. Hersh is free on $30,000 bail. She could be sentenced to between 15 and 30 years if convicted.

“We are very disappointed in the judge’s decision. We adamantly maintained Sarah’s innocence. This was a tragic accident,” said Public Defender Jesse Friedman. “She’s still deeply saddened by the seriousness of the events.”

According to reports, Silvio was shot as a Christmas party wound down at Crow’s Creations, a Conway tattoo and piercing parlor. Hersh maintains she did not know Silvio’s .357 Magnum revolver was loaded when he took it from his waistband and handed it to her. Silvio died of a single shot to the chest; tests showed he had alcohol, marijuana, opiates and amphetamines in his system.

“They were having a passionate debate about spirituality and he kept cutting her off and she was getting frustrated with him,” said Senior Assistant Attorney General Will Delker. “He said something to the effect of I bet you want to hit me’ and started to hand her his cane.”

When Hersh refused to take the cane, Silvio handed her the gun. “She grabbed it and pulled the trigger,” Delker said.

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