BANGOR, Maine — A local man with a distinctive “Easy Rider” tattoo on his bald head was sentenced Monday in Penobscot County Superior Court to nine years in prison with all but three years suspended for shooting a woman on Jan. 25 in a dispute over drugs and money.
Albion E. Curtis Jr., 52, pleaded guilty last week to aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. In a plea agreement with prosecutors, charges of attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and two counts of robbery were dismissed.
Superior Court Justice John Nivison also sentenced Curtis to two years of probation and ordered him to forfeit the gun used in the shooting.
Curtis did not address the court.
His sentencing, scheduled to be held last week, was continued, according to Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, to give the victims — the 28-year-old Bangor woman who was wounded and her 27-year-old male companion — the opportunity to speak to the judge. They did not show up Monday.
The prosecutor told Nivison that the couple was not happy that Curtis would not be spending more time in prison.
The decision to drop the most serious charges had to do with “issues of proof” and the discrepancies between the defendant’s and the victims’ versions of events, Roberts said.
At a bail hearing in March, Curtis’ Bangor attorney David Walker said the altercation that led to the shooting began when Curtis refused to sell the victim and her boyfriend oxycodone pills that Curtis had a prescription for before his arrest, according to previously published reports.
According to the affidavit filed at Curtis’ initial appearance, the victim and her male companion went to Curtis’ Hammond Street apartment to pay off a past debt and to buy the pills. After the couple gave Curtis some money, he allegedly told them he had no medication for them but kept some of the money they’d given him.
A fight began, according to court documents, when Curtis refused to return the remainder of the money. The female victim told police that Curtis pulled a small handgun from his pocket and she was wounded in the struggle.
She told police she was shot when she tried to prevent Curtis from shooting her companion in the head. Her companion drove her to the emergency room at Eastern Maine Medical Center after they gathered up their cash, according to court documents.
Curtis faced up to 10 years in prison on the aggravated assault charge. If he had been convicted of attempted murder, he would have faced up to 30 years in prison.
He has been held at the Penobscot County Jail unable to make bail since his arrest a few days after the shooting. That time is expected to be applied to his sentence.