PORTLAND — A Lewiston man, whose gun was found in an apartment where his wife was injured after someone fired gunshots through her front door, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court for having a gun.

U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Torresen sentenced Devon “TY” Duncan, 37, to 42 months in prison, telling the convicted drug dealer he must turn his life around.

Duncan pleaded guilty in August to felony gun possession after a photo of him with a gun was found during an unrelated criminal investigation involving his wife.

He is prohibited from possessing firearms due to previous felony convictions, including unlawful trafficking in cocaine and fentanyl.

“Drug dealing is terrible for the community,” Torresen said Wednesday. “It’s just poison.”

Duncan had been facing up to 10 years in prison on the federal gun charge.


His gun was found in an apartment where his estranged wife was living.

On April 28, 2022, Meghan Duncan, 24, was shot by an armed man through the door of her Arch Avenue apartment in Lewiston.

Law enforcement officials walk to the Evidence Response Team vehicle April 28, 2022, while investigating a shooting at 15 Arch Ave. in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file

During that investigation police found a photo of Devon Duncan holding a gun, the same gun that was found by police in Meghan Duncan’s apartment.

Devon Duncan is not considered a suspect in Meghan Duncan’s shooting.

Meghan Duncan was shot five times through the door of her apartment she had shared with her estranged husband, police said.

She had responded to a knock at the front door, looked through the peephole and asked who was there, investigators said.


After calling 911, she was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where she was listed in serious condition.

A Lowell, Massachusetts, man who was described as a violent fugitive was arrested later that April and questioned by police in connection with the shooting.

Devon Duncan told investigators he believed the shooter had been a “drug associate” of his, according to investigators.

Meanwhile, police in Maine had secured a search warrant for the apartment and Meghan Duncan’s cellphone.

As a result of the investigation into the shooting, police recovered a brown Glock 19X 9 mm handgun that was found between the bed and a nightstand in the apartment, along with a 17-round magazine, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Noah Falk.

From her cellphone, investigators recovered photos of Devon Duncan, shown in the apartment four days earlier, handling the gun.


In one image, he is seen holding the gun in his right hand and “pointing it directly at the camera,” Falk said.

“Duncan knew it was illegal for him to possess a firearm,” Falk said.

Because the gun was manufactured outside Maine, the crime was prosecuted in federal court.

Falk, who was seeking a 57-month sentence for Duncan, argued the charge should be enhanced because the gun possession was drug related.

But Torresen, after reviewing the evidence in the case, including 26 grams of crack cocaine found in a cabinet in the apartment, concluded there was enough probable cause to establish that the drugs were related to the firearm, but not a preponderance of evidence.

Duncan’s attorney, David Beneman, asked the judge to vary the sentence downward from the federal sentencing guidelines and impose a three-year sentence.


Meghan Duncan spoke Wednesday in federal court, asking the judge for leniency in sentencing.

She described her husband as “kind, nurturing and generous.”

Duncan said her husband was not only her spouse, but also her best friend.

“He taught me to stand up for myself,” she said.

“He has a heart of gold,” she said. “He has so much to offer this world.”

Beneman said Wednesday that the gun had been bought by Devon Duncan’s former friend at a Fairfield store and given to him, but no ammunition was found with it.


Meghan Duncan told police she had no knowledge of the gun nor the drugs.

Beneman told the judge that Devon Duncan was born in Tobago, and never met his father. His mother fled to the United States when he was 18 months old to escape poverty and domestic violence.

He was left behind in the Caribbean island and was raised by his aunt and uncle, according to court records.

“His aunt was emotionally and physically abusive,” according to Beneman.

“He was left with a babysitter who sexually abused him. At age 4, he was put to work in the bar run by his aunt and uncle. His uncle made him drink alcohol starting at age 4. He was tasked with serving drinks to the bar customers. He was beaten with a broomstick and cords if he did not obey quickly enough,” Beneman wrote in court papers.

“Records do not show a single positive thing in Devon’s young life. He drank what turned out to be rat poison, was foaming at the mouth and a bar patron took him to the hospital when his uncle refused to take him. Finally, at age 8, his maternal grandmother stepped in and took him to her home. She spent the summer tutoring him so he could pass an entry exam and begin school the following year. This was the first love or affection Devon had experienced. Unfortunately, his older brother who also lived with this grandmother began sexually abusing Devon.”


His mother brought him to the United States when he was 11 years old and he and his brother lived with her in New Jersey.

“His mother physically and mentally abused him,” Beneman wrote. “She said Duncan looked like his father and seeing Duncan reminded her of the abuse she suffered at the hands of his father. So she beat Duncan.”

At school, he was bullied by students over his clothes and his accent, Beneman said Wednesday.

“He felt he did not fit in. At age 16, he left his mother’s house and began a nomadic existence,” Beneman wrote.

When he tried to return home, his mother took him to a homeless shelter, Beneman said.

He ended up in New York City at age 18, where he was put to work as a low-level drug dealer, Beneman said.


Despite his difficult home life, Duncan was able to graduate from high school.

“Your life story is an extremely sad one,” said Torresen, who noted she has heard many tales of poverty and abuse as a judge.

“I would have pegged you as someone who didn’t have a chance,” she said, adding she found his ability to get a high school diploma “amazing,” suggesting he is “very smart.”

Torresen said: “That gives me hope for you.”

Duncan told the judge he was sorry for having a gun.

“It wasn’t the right thing to do,” he said. “I’ve made some mistakes in my life.”


Torresen said that guns and drugs are a “dangerous combination” and that his wife “could easily have been killed.”

The judge  said: “I want you in a real job.”

She urged Duncan to remain with his wife, despite their estrangement, and take advantage of mental health and substance abuse counseling available to him in prison.

After his release, Duncan will be on supervised release for three years, during which he must not have any alcohol or illegal drugs.

“I’m hoping I will never see you again,” Torresen said.

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