A Somerset County man was convicted Friday of firing upon the homes of an ex-girlfriend and people connected to her in drive-by shootings earlier this year that a prosecutor called a drug-influenced show of force designed to demonstrate that “she could not get away from him.”
The Kennebec Journal reported that Dana Dasilva, 26, of Skowhegan was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison, with all suspended but five years and one day, and five years total of probation at Maine State Prison. Judge Bruce C. Mallonee accepted Dasilva’s admissions as part of a plea agreement with the prosecution, calling the shootings “one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen.”
DaSilva admitted to a role in drive-by shootings in quick succession on Jan. 4 in Waterville, Winslow and Clinton. Winslow police received a report about 8:20 p.m. of shots being fired at a residence on Whipple Street. Twenty five minutes later, Waterville police heard about shots being fired at a residence on Elmwood Avenue. A resident on May Street in Waterville was almost struck by a bullet shot through a window, and a fourth drive-by shooting was later reported in Clinton.
No one was hit by the bullets. Police said descriptions of the vehicle were similar at the four locations.
DaSilva entered guilty pleas via an online hearing through the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta, admitting to a Class B felony count of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon; a Class C charge of possessing a firearm by a prohibited person; and a Class D charge of criminal mischief, the Kennebec Journal reported.
District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said illegal drug use and domestic violence-related desires compelled the shooting. Dasilva “wanted to continue to show her she could not get away from him,” Maloney said. “We believe he was also on illegal drugs on the day in question,” the Kennebec Journal reported.
Dasilva’s attorney, Lisa Whittier, said her client “is a young man who has shown to me remarkable insight into the wrongfulness of his own behavior.” Whittier said Dasilva shows “very good prospects for rehabilitation” and is “extremely sorry for what he put all of these victims through,” the Kennebec Journal reported.
On the day of the shootings, Dasilva was identified as a suspect by detectives. Around 11 p.m., Maine state police stopped a vehicle in Skowhegan with Dasilva inside.