ROCKLAND, Maine — A 53-year-old Union man will serve a 14-day jail sentence beginning April 1 after admitting to shooting his wife in the face, an incident he and his wife said was an accident.
George W. King III was sentenced Monday in Knox County Superior Court by Justice Andrew Horton to 364 days in jail with all but 14 days suspended for reckless conduct.
King had originally been charged with the more serious charges of domestic violence assault and domestic violence reckless conduct in connection to the Aug. 26, 2011, shooting at their home.
Assistant District Attorney Jeff Baroody said this was a very serious incident. He said the lowering of the charges came after the wife was not cooperative with the investigation.
Defense attorney Lawrence Frier said that the wife’s statements have not changed since the night of the shooting and that both she and her husband maintain it was an accident. The BDN is not naming the wife since she is considered a victim.
She spoke at Monday’s sentencing hearing and asked that her husband be spared jail time. She said it was very clear it was an accident.
The defendant told the judge that he had his finger on the hammer of the .22-caliber revolver when he bumped into a wall and the gun accidentally discharged.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it,” King said.
Frier said that there had been a series of residential burglaries in the neighborhood where the Kings lived and that George King had heard something outside when he got up from bed with the gun. His wife had earlier gotten up and had been coming out of the bathroom when the gun fired.
She was struck in the face. She was taken to a hospital in Bangor and then Boston, the defense attorney said.
Prosecutor Baroody said King had been drinking prior to the shooting and that it was reckless to have a loaded gun after drinking. Baroody also said King had been convicted two years ago of criminal mischief in which the wife was the victim.
Frier countered that King was not intoxicated, pointing out that state police allowed him to follow the ambulance to the hospital in his vehicle on the night of the shooting.
Baroody had asked for 30 days but Frier asked for no jail time. He said a jail sentence would impose a financial hardship on the couple.
Horton said that the shooting called for some jail time and he imposed the 14-day sentence, but allowed King to wait until April 1 to begin the sentence so that King could continue to make money plowing snow.