A Superior Court justice has denied a request to overturn the conviction of a Friendship man serving a 40-year sentence at the Maine State Prison for shooting a 30-year-old woman to death in 2005.

Douglas A. Dyer, 35, was convicted March 3, 2006, of murdering Allison Small of Vinalhaven and attempting to kill her husband, Brandon Small, on Jan. 28, 2005. He recently filed a motion seeking to overturn his conviction, arguing his lawyer was ineffective in representing him.

Superior Court Justice A. Mark Horton denied the petition for post-conviction review in an order and judgment filed Feb. 2 at Knox County Superior Court. In the judgment, he said Dyer failed to prove that Peterson’s assistance as counsel was ineffective or that the outcome of the trial would have been changed if Peterson had taken another course of action.

A post-conviction hearing was held Jan. 29 at Knox County Superior Court on the matter. Testifying from the Maine State Prison via video-conferencing technology, Dyer said his lawyer, Steven Peterson of West Rockport, should have done more to demonstrate that the shooting was not at point blank range or execution style.

Dyer was convicted of shooting Small. Her husband was a witness in the case. Shortly before her death, Small had confessed to her husband that she’d had an affair with Dyer. She decided to meet with Dyer at her place of business, Vinalhaven Transportation at 61 New County Road in Rockland, one last time to end the relationship. Her husband waited outside in the van while she talked with Dyer inside the building.

The husband would later testify in court that he heard a scream and a gunshot from inside the building and saw his wife come running out of the building without her shoes and toward the van about 15 feet away. He said he saw Dyer emerge from the building with a high-powered rifle and shoot Small. She slumped to the ground. Dyer then shot at the husband, grazing his head, according to testimony in court. Her husband heard a fourth gunshot. Small was found to have died from gunshots. She was wounded in the wrist, back and abdomen.

Dyer argued in court that the shooting of Allison Small was accidental. “He testified the fourth and last shot was a ‘warning shot’ fired to threaten but not kill Brandon Small,” the court document states.

In his motion, Dyer argued his attorney failed to have the case investigated properly, failed to call expert witnesses, and was ineffective.

“The record does not indicate any shortcoming in attorney Peterson’s investigation,” Horton wrote in his judgment.

At the hearing, Peterson, who has extensive trial experience defending those accused of murder, testified about his handling of the case.

Peterson said the jury visited the scene of the shooting and knew how small an area it was. Reached by phone after the hearing, Peterson said it was clear Dyer was close to Small at the time of the shooting. Dyer argued it was a critical issue whether he shot her from 15 feet away or walked up to her and shot her at point blank range.

The attorney said after the hearing that he did not answer all of the criticisms from Dyer in testimony because many would be addressed in the file, which the judge would review.