PARIS – Prosecutors concluded that a Paris man violated a hunting law in the shooting death of an 18-year-old girl, but did not deserve a harsh sentence in a hearing held Monday afternoon.

Timothy P. Bean, 51, of 7 Pine Ridge Road, pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter in Oxford County Superior Court and will serve 30 days in jail. Bean accidentally shot and killed Megan Ripley, 18, on Dec. 7.

Judge Robert E. Crowley sentenced Bean to two years in prison with all but 30 days suspended and two years of probation. Bean’s hunting license was permanently suspended, and he will be required to speak on hunting dangers to raise public awareness. He is required to pay $5,000 in victims’ compensation fees within the first 20 months of probation.

Linda Cohen, attorney for the state, said the Ripley family did not wish to vilify Bean, but did want him to pay a debt to society. This attitude was confirmed in a short statement given by Troy Ripley, Megan’s father.

“Justice is up to you, but forgiveness is up to me,” he told the court. “We have chosen to forgive Mr. Bean.”

The family’s benevolence has been apparent for some time. Less than a week after the accident, Jeri Brown, Megan’s mother, posted a message in an online forum asking people to keep Bean and his family in their prayers.


“I dare say they are having a much harder time with all of this than we are,” stated Brown. “I cannot even begin to imagine how this man must feel.”

“They’re both remarkable families, who can forgive each other in such a situation,” said defense attorney Edward Dilworth III.

Lisa Marchese, assistant attorney general, proposed the sentence, which had been agreed upon with Dilworth. She said the recommendation was based on review of past cases involving hunting fatalities and “the generosity and spirit of the Ripley family,” who “did not want Mr. Bean’s life ruined.”

Marchese later said that the trauma of a jury trial would not have been fair to the Ripley family.

The maximum sentence for manslaughter is 30 years in prison. Crowley said several factors affected his agreement with the sentencing: Bean’s lack of prior convictions, his willingness to take responsibility for his actions, and the lack of additional factors, such as alcohol use, in the shooting.

Crowley also cited the family’s unwillingness to see a harsh sentence.


“I think it honors the memory of Megan for the family to act in such a courageous manner,” Crowley said.

Marchese told the court that the accident occurred near the family’s home on Christian Ridge Road in Paris. Ripley and her brother, Andy, had gone to a nearby field to shoot targets. The field was owned by Benjamin Labonte, who had purchased the property from Troy Ripley.

Andy heard a shot and initially thought his gun had gone off before realizing that his sister had been shot in the chest. Ripley told her brother to get their father.

Bean approached the scene shortly after the accident and took responsibility. He had been hunting in the second week of the state’s muzzle-loading, deer-hunting season, two days before the end of the season. Bean used Troy Ripley’s cell phone to call 911.

Paramedics were unable to revive Ripley at the scene. She was pronounced dead at Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway about an hour after she was shot.

According to an investigation conducted by the Maine Warden’s Service and Maine State Police, Bean had been 277 feet away from Ripley when he fired the single shot.


Ripley had been wearing jeans and a gray sweatshirt at the time. Bean told investigators that he thought he was shooting at the rear end of a deer, but didn’t make additional checks to confirm his target.

“Mr. Bean did not act as a reasonable and prudent hunter,” said Marchese, referring to the wording of the state’s hunting laws.

Marchese said his action was in violation of the state’s target identification law, which requires a hunter to have an unobstructed view of a deer’s head and torso before shooting.

Mark Latti, spokesman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said a hunter is responsible for identifying “not only what he’s shooting at, but what’s beyond it as well.”

Ripley’s death was the first hunting-related fatality in Maine since 2004.

Cohen said the Ripleys are proposing a child safety act that would require hunters to get permission from landowners before carrying weapons onto their property. According to Latti, residents may use land for recreational activities, including hunting, if there are no posted signs specifically forbidding use or requiring permission for use.

Bean will begin his sentence on June 3.

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