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DJ Dana Wilson fires lawyer; sentencing on child porn charge delayed

Posted Aug. 20, 2013, at 6:41 p.m.
Dana Wilson (right) fired his attorney Jeffrey Silverstein (left) and requested a court-appointed attorney from Justice William Anderson on Tuesday at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.
Dana Wilson (right) fired his attorney Jeffrey Silverstein (left) and requested a court-appointed attorney from Justice William Anderson on Tuesday at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

BANGOR, Maine — The sentencing of former Maine Sports Hall of Famer and local DJ Dana Wilson on a child pornography charge was put off a second time Tuesday after Wilson fired his attorney.

His sentencing was continued indefinitely by Superior Court Justice William Anderson until the judge can appoint an attorney to represent Wilson, 62, of Brewer. A new sentencing date has not been set.

Anderson said Tuesday that he wanted to think about which attorney to appoint to represent Wilson. The judge also said that although Wilson’s current income qualified him for court-appointed attorney, he would have to repay the court from the proceeds of the sale of his home.

Wilson’s sentencing was continued last month so that Wilson’s mental health counselor could attend the hearing and address the court.

Jeffrey Silverstein, the Bangor attorney Wilson retained 18 months ago to represent him, told Anderson that he received an email last night from his client stating Wilson no longer wanted Silverstein to represent him. Silverstein said outside the courthouse that Wilson gave him no reasons for the firing.

Wilson did not tell the judge why he fired Silverstein but said he wanted another attorney to handle his case. Wilson also told Anderson on Tuesday that since he was indicted in the spring of 2012 his DJ business has dropped off 90 percent and he has had to begin collecting Social Security.

The disc jockey on May 23 pleaded no contest to one count of possession of sexually explicit material, a Class C crime, as his jury-waived trial was about to begin.

No-contest pleas result in convictions.

In response to a question from Anderson, Wilson said Tuesday that he did not want to withdraw his plea.

Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, said Monday that he would recommend that the judge sentence Wilson to between 2½ and three years in prison with all but between six and nine months to serve. Roberts also said he would urge the judge to impose two years of probation.

Roberts said Tuesday at an impromptu press conference outside the courthouse he might ask that a longer sentence be imposed because Wilson “delayed the matter over and over.” The prosecutor said that Wilson’s firing Silverstein showed “a lack of acceptance of responsibility” for the crime.

Silverstein said last month that he would like to see Wilson sentenced to probation but no jail time.

“My position is that this case doesn’t require a long jail sentence,” the attorney said. “Mr. Wilson already has suffered a loss of respect in the community and he poses no threat to the community.”

Silverstein also said last month that Wilson visited child pornography websites but did not download, share or chat about videos or photographs of children engaged in sexually explicit activity.

The attorney also said in May that Wilson’s position in the community before his indictment is more likely to hurt than help the DJ at sentencing next month.

On Tuesday, Silverstein said outside the courthouse that he didn’t know what Wilson’s concern were over his representation.

“I told him what I tell all my clients — ‘Hope for the best and prepare for the worst,’” Silverstein said when asked about what he told Wilson about the possibility that he would be sentenced to jail time.

Wilson remains free on $1,000 unsecured bail with conditions that include having no contact with children under the age of 16.

Wilson was indicted June 27, 2012, by a Penobscot County grand jury on a charge of possession of sexually explicit material. He initially pleaded not guilty on Aug. 8, 2012.

The investigation into Wilson began in February 2011, Brewer police Detective Sgt. Jay Munson said on the day Wilson was indicted.

“We found no evidence of any local children or what appears to be local children [on Wilson's computer],” Munson said last year.

Wilson has a disc jockey business and has provided music for dances sponsored by Brewer Parks and Recreation and area schools for many years, Munson said.

Monitoring of child pornography sites by law enforcement officials outside Maine led to an Internet address belonging to Wilson, according to a previously published report.

Wilson was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in May 2012 for his basketball feats at Bangor’s Husson College, where he graduated in 1974. That honor was revoked May 29 by the hall’s board of directors, according to a previously published report.

He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 on the charge. Wilson has no prior criminal record.

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