ROCKLAND (AP) – A truck driver from Friendship was sentenced Thursday to 40 years in prison for last year’s fatal shooting of his ex-lover two days after she ended their two-year affair.

A Knox County Superior Court jury deliberated only two hours last month before finding Douglas Dyer, 32, guilty of the murder of Allison Small, 30, and of the attempted murder of her husband, Brandon Small.

Dyer was given a 20-year suspended sentence on the attempted murder conviction.

Murder in Maine is punishable by a minimum of 25 years and a maximum of life.

Dyer, who turned himself in within hours of the Jan. 28, 2005 slaying, had maintained that the killing was an accident and that he intended to take his own life. He did not speak at the sentencing, but his lawyer read a letter in which Dyer apologized for what he had done.

Family members of the victim told the court of the grief and pain caused by Allison Small’s death, particularly to her husband and their two young children.

Dyer was employed by Vinalhaven Transportation, a shipping company owned by Small and her husband.

The shooting took place in a parking lot outside the company’s offices.

Dyer’s lawyer said he plans to appeal the convictions, asserting that his client did not get a fair trial because of the extensive publicity the case received.

AP-ES-04-27-06 1820EDT