BANGOR, Maine — A jury of 11 men and one woman will decide if a Hermon man who in February shot and killed a Bangor man and injured his friend during a reported home invasion was trafficking in bath salts, Ecstasy, psychedelic mushrooms and cocaine or if he simply possessed them for his own personal use.
The trial of Daniel Williams on drug charges got underway Tuesday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
Williams pleaded not guilty in July to aggravated drug trafficking in scheduled drugs (Ecstasy), aggravated trafficking in synthetic hallucinogenic drugs (bath salts), both Class A crimes; aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs, a Class B crime, two counts of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs (mushrooms and cocaine) and unlawful possession of synthetic hallucinogenic drugs (bath salts), all Class D crimes.
Williams remains free on $5,000 bail.
Before the trial began Williams rejected a plea offer from the prosecution that would have dropped all but the Ecstasy trafficking charge and reduced that count from a Class A to a Class B crime in exchange for the defendant’s guilty plea.
The maximum penalty for a Class A crime is 30 years versus 10 years for a Class B crime.
Assistant Attorney General Patrick Larson, who is prosecuting the case, told District Judge Bruce Jordan that the offer did not include a specific amount of recommended prison time. The prosecutor did not say how much time he would argue for if Williams accepted the deal.
Larson told the jury in his opening statement that the evidence would show that Williams was a drug dealer and used a gun to protect the product he was selling illegally.
Defense attorney Kirk Bloomer of Bangor told jurors that his client had the drugs for personal use but was not a drug trafficker.
In addition to the criminal charges, prosecutors have filed motions asking that Williams be ordered to forfeit cash and guns found in his apartment at the time of his arrest. Williams agreed before the trial started to have the judge, not the jury, decide the forfeiture counts after the jury had reached a verdict.
On Feb. 16, 2012, Williams used a .22-caliber handgun to fatally shoot Robert Dellairo, 30, of Bangor and wound Philip McIntyre, 19, also of Bangor in the leg during a reported home invasion, Williams told the Bangor Daily News shortly afterward.
He has not been charged in connection with the shooting.
Williams said a few days after the shooting that he was asleep at his residence at the Duran Apartments on Outer Hammond Street when Dellairo and McIntyre broke into his residence.
“They attacked me in my home, and I had to protect myself,” Williams said.
Williams said he used a .22-caliber handgun to shoot Dellairo in the pelvis, McIntyre in the leg and shot twice into the rear end of a blue Honda Accord that a woman used to drive the injured to St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor, according to a previously published report.
Dellairo was immediately transferred from St. Joseph Hospital to Eastern Maine Medical Center, where he later died.
As the trial began Tuesday, the prosecution and defense jointly stipulated that Williams’ shooting of Dellairo and McIntyre was justified.
The drugs, cash and drug trafficking paraphernalia that led to the charges against Williams were lodged after police executed a search warrant the day after the shooting at Williams’ home.
Police testified Tuesday about interviews with Williams. In recordings of those interviews played for the jury, Williams denied knowing any of the trio he said forced their way into his home.
McIntyre was charged with burglary in connection with the incident at Williams’ home but was never indicted, according to previously published reports. The charge has been dismissed according to records at the clerk’s office in the Penobscot Judicial Center.
McIntyre is not expected to be called to testify against Williams.
The trial is scheduled for two or three days.