AUBURN – A Sabattus man facing a murder trial in the shooting death of his father at his 65th birthday party rejected a plea offer Friday from a state prosecutor, his attorney said.

“There were discussions about numbers,” said Steven Peterson of West Rockport, who is defending 35-year-old Scott Poirier.

Poirier let the state know, in turn, what he would be willing to accept as a plea, said Peterson, who declined to provide specifics about the talks.

“Ideas were bounced back and forth,” Peterson said. “The two parties are pretty far apart.”

The two-and-a-half-hour meeting was an effort aimed at gauging the likelihood of the parties finding middle ground on which to settle before the case goes to trial.

While he always is open to any overtures from the state, Peterson said he and the prosecutor never came close to an agreement Friday.

“We’re engaged at this point in preparing for trial,” Peterson said.

A tentative date of Jan. 14 has been set to start picking a jury, he said. Including jury selection, the trial could take up to two weeks, Peterson said.

Justice Carl Bradford, an active retired Maine Superior Court judge, met with Peterson and Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese behind closed doors at Androscoggin County Superior Court. Bradford, not the presiding judge over the case, was brought in with fresh eyes to see whether there was an opportunity for a settlement.

The meeting was first scheduled for Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland, but Peterson wanted his client nearby to get his timely response to any plea offers from the state. Peterson has remained incarcerated at Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn since his arrest on murder charge in connection with the shooting death of his father, Roland “Jerry” Poirier.

The elder Poirier was celebrating his 65th birthday on Nov. 8, 2006 at his Grove Street home in Lewiston when Scott Poirier showed up on the lawn that night in a heavy rain, police said. He fired a .270-caliber rifle aiming at his father through the sliding-glass door. The shot hit his father in the neck, killing him, police said.

Poirier, who has four sons, told police he shot his father because he had been a victim of his father’s sexual abuse, along with other victims, police said. The younger Poirier said he didn’t want his father to abuse his grandchildren.

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