Lamoine man charged in shooting death over paint job to plead guilty rather than go to trial

Posted Sept. 16, 2013, at 11:30 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 16, 2013, at 6:14 p.m.
Michael Carter
Hancock County Jail
Michael Carter

BANGOR, Maine — A Lamoine man charged with murder in connection with a shooting in March 2012 that left one man dead and two others wounded will plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter rather than go to trial, according to the Maine attorney general’s office.

Michael Carter, 31, is scheduled to plead guilty Tuesday, Sept. 24, to charges related to the death of Lawrence “Randy” Sinclair Jr., who died in the March 11, 2012, shooting outside Carter’s home on Route 184. His jury trial is scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 23, at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

Also injured in the shooting were Torrey Garland, 34, and Joshua McKinney, 25, both of Ellsworth.

Carter’s plea deal with prosecutors calls for him to plead guilty to manslaughter, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said Monday. In exchange, prosecutors and defense attorney Richard Hartley of Bangor will recommend jointly a sentence of 30 years with all but 16 suspended and four years of probation.

Efforts to reach Hartley Monday were unsuccessful.

Carter pleaded not guilty in 2012 in Hancock County Superior Court to one count each of murder, elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Under the terms of the new plea agreement, the murder and elevated aggravated assault charges would be dismissed, according to Stokes.

The hearing next week will be held at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor before Superior Court Justice William Anderson.

Lawrence “Randy” Sinclair Sr., 55, of Lamoine, repeated at Carter’s arraignment what members and friends of his family have been saying since the incident — that the men who were shot were invited to Carter’s home and had no idea they were about to be attacked, according to a previously published report. The men went to Carter’s home ostensibly to talk about a paint job Sinclair had done on Carter’s pickup truck that Carter was not happy with, friends of Sinclair have said.

The maximum sentence for manslaughter is 30 years in prison. If he had gone to trial and been convicted of murder, Carter would have faced between 25 years and life in prison.

BDN reporter Bill Trotter contributed to this report.

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