PORTLAND, Maine — A 72-year-old Yarmouth lobsterman will be sentenced Friday afternoon for the October 2013 murder of a Georgetown man at a North Yarmouth bee farm.
Merrill “Mike” Kimball was found guilty on April 15 of murdering 63-year-old Leon Kelley of Georgetown. The Cumberland County Superior Court jury deliberated about eight hours over two days before delivering its verdict.
Kimball faces 25 years to life in prison.
On Oct. 6, 2013, Kimball accompanied his wife and stepson to the bee farm, owned by 95-year-old Stan Brown, Kelley’s father-in-law, to collect more than a dozen 50-pound buckets of honey worth about $5,000 that Kimball’s wife, Karen Kimball, said belonged to her.
The shooting resulted from a confrontation over the role Merrill Kimball’s wife played in Brown’s finances. Kelley’s family suspected Karen Kimball was taking advantage of the older man, particularly after learning he added her to his will, leaving her the bee business and leaving the property to a land conservancy.
Brown died late last month, according to an attorney representing Kelley’s widow, Kathleen Kelley.
On May 21, Leon Kelley’s widow filed a wrongful death civil suit against Merrill Kimball, seeking $1 million damages from assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other offenses, as well as punitive damages.
According to court documents, Kathleen Kelley “suffered conscious pain and suffering, emotional distress and wrongful death” after witnessing Kimball shoot and kill Leon Kelley that day.
On Wednesday, Christiane D. Williams, who represents Kathleen Kelley, confirmed that Brown died in May.
Williams said the complaint and motion were served to Kimball at the Cumberland County Jail. Kimball has 20 days from the date of service to submit an answer.
Kimball is scheduled to be sentenced at 2:15 p.m. in Courtroom 7 at the the Portland Superior Courthouse.