BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A family acquaintance convicted in the killings of a husband and wife in Webster Plantation tearfully apologized to the victims’ sons Tuesday before being sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Nathaneal Nightingale, 33, of Burlington, was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Michael Miller and murder in the death of Miller’s wife Valerie. Nightingale was sentenced Tuesday to 40 years for Valerie Miller’s murder, with an additional 15-year sentence to be served concurrently for Michael Miller’s death.

“I’m sorry for the mistakes that brought us all here today,” Nightingale said Tuesday in Penobscot County Superior Court before the sentence was imposed. “I am sorry for the Miller family and my family. I apologize for the pain and worry I have caused for everyone involved.”

Nightingale told police in a confession played for jurors that he went to the victims’ home to pawn his stepfather’s handgun and accidentally shot Michael Miller on Nov. 28, 2009. He said he then shot Valerie Miller out of “desperation.”

The Millers, both 47, died in their kitchen from gunshot wounds to the head.

The Bangor Daily News said Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson recommended that Nightingale be sentenced to 60 to 65 years in prison. Defense attorney Jeffery Silverstein of Bangor urged Justice William to impose a sentence of 40 to 45 years.

Nightingale knew the Millers.

Before he became a suspect, he helped a forensic artist create a composite sketch of a woman he said was at the Miller home on the day of the killings. Police said the woman did not exist.

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