The Lincoln man charged with murder in the shooting death of his mother after a drunken argument in August 2020 was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison with all but 24 years suspended.
Adam Groves, 46, formerly of New Hampshire, pleaded guilty to manslaughter as part of a plea agreement with the Maine attorney general’s office.
Groves had been living with Pauline Taylor, 63, at her home on Transalpine Road in Lincoln for just three weeks when the two got into a fight after Groves had spent the afternoon drinking.
His trial date had not been set when the plea agreement was reached.
Groves, who experienced a difficult childhood and was in state custody, wept throughout the sentencing hearing. He and his mother reconciled about two years before her death, friends and family told the judge.
He spoke directly to family members and apologized for taking Taylor away from them Monday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
“I’m sorry. I’m very sorry that I took your grandmother, that I took your sister away,” a sobbing Groves said. “It wasn’t anything I wanted to do. I love you all very much. I take responsibility for what I have done and I take all of your pain. I take all of it.”
The son fatally shot his mother after she threatened him with a .22-caliber long gun through a bathroom door, but it was not loaded, Assistant Attorney General Meg Elam, who prosecuted the case, said Monday.
In addition to prison time, Superior Court Justice William Anderson sentenced Groves to four years of probation. The judge also ordered him to pay $3,500 in restitution to the Victims Compensation Fund for his mother’s funeral expenses and to forfeit the 9mm handgun he used to kill Taylor.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein told Anderson that his client acted out of fear when he shot his mother. The lawyer also said Groves suffered from post traumatic stress disorder due to abuse as a child.
The son called 911 at about 8 p.m. that night to report that he had killed his mother, Elam said. When Lincoln police arrived, Groves was outside in the driveway but still on the phone with a dispatcher.
“‘I shot my mom, my life is over,'” Groves repeated again and again, the affidavit said.
Groves shot his mother with a handgun, the prosecutor said. Police found Taylor dead in her chair with at least two gunshot wounds to the head.
In imposing the sentence, Anderson called the case “tragic all around” but accepted the plea agreement.
Groves had been held without bail since his arrest on Aug. 19, 2020, the day of the slaying. That time will be applied to his sentence.
He faced up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on the manslaughter charge. If convicted of murder, he would have faced between 25 years and life in prison.