ROCKLAND — A 35-year-old Washington man was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for shooting and wounding a man on his property and refusing to provide aid.

John H. Seavey was sentenced Dec. 9 in the Knox County court by Justice Daniel Billings to eight years in prison with all but two years suspended for aggravated assault. Seavey will then be on probation for four years. If he violates probation, he could serve part or all of the suspended sentence.

A more serious charge of elevated aggravated assault was dismissed.

According to an affidavit filed earlier in the year in court by then Knox County Sheriff’s Office Detective Dwight Burtis, Knox County Communications received a call at about 4 a.m., April 18, that a man had been shot and was being taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport. The victim suffered a wound to his arm which was determined to be serious enough for him to be flown by a LifeFlight Hospital to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

The victim initially said to emergency medical responders the shooting was an accident, but following additional investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, the victim acknowledged Seavey shot him.

The victim told police he had helped a longtime female friend get groceries and returned her to the home she shared with Seavey. Seavey accused the man of sleeping with the woman but the victim assured him they were only friends. The victim left but returned to the property on the Crystal Lake Road at 3 a.m. April 18 to get additional parts for the truck he was working on. The victim said he often works on his truck at night.

He said he was near the parts vehicle when Seavey came out and told him to leave. The victim said he agreed and then there was a gunshot and he was struck in the arm. The victim said he asked Seavey to help him tie a tourniquet around his arm but Seavey refused. Seavey, however, did drive the shooting victim to another home and then Seavey left on foot. Seavey again accused the victim of having slept with the woman, according to the affidavit.

Seavey denied to police he shot the victim but gave conflicting stories on what happened, according to the affidavit.

At the Dec. 9 sentencing hearing, Justice Billings questioned why the state was seeking such a sentence in a case where a person shot and wounded someone. Assistant District Attorney Kathryn King said that the defense could have raised a defense of property or even a self-defense argument if the case had gone to trial. In addition, the victim had told different accounts of the shooting.

Seavey addressed the judge said he believes he could have won the case if it had gone to trial but that he did not want to risk spending five to 10 years in prison if he was convicted. Seavey has already spent eight months in jail which will count toward the two years.

“It was 3 a.m. He was outside my house, he was at my truck,” Seavey said.

Justice Billings accepted the negotiated sentencing agreement, pointing out that at first look by the public it may seem like a light sentence but also noted that Maine juries tend to consider seriously defenses of protecting one’s home.

Sex assault case

And in a separate case, the district attorney’s office reached an agreement Dec. 2 with Thomas Wayland Shell Jr., 67, who had been charged with 17 sexual assault offenses against a young woman from 2006 through 2014.

The state dismissed 15 of the charges as part of a plea agreement.

If Shell adheres to the agreement — which requires no additional criminal conduct and no unsupervised contact with anyone younger than 18 — the remaining two counts of gross sexual assault will be dismissed in three years.

Deputy District Attorney Christopher Fernald said the victim and her guardian support the agreement. There would have been problems proving the case, he said, if the case had gone to trial.

Shell was originally charged in September 2019 and indicted in January 2020 of 11 counts of gross sexual assault, five counts of unlawful sexual contact, and one count of sexual aggression against a child.

In an affidavit filed by the Sheriff’s Office with the Knox County Court, the officer pointed out that Shell had been investigated in 2016 for sexually assaulting the girl. There was insufficient evidence to charge him in 2016, according to the affidavit.

In 2019, the alleged victim provided the investigator with Facebook messages in which Shell discusses the sexual assaults.

Shell denied the accusations in 2016, but during the most recent investigation, said there had been a recent one-time sexual encounter with the girl.

Domestic violence case

And on Dec. 9, Justice Billings accepted an agreement reached between the district attorney’s office and defense in a domestic violence assault case that occurred in Rockland despite the victim criticizing the deal.

The agreement in the Daniel Bonneau case is a deferred disposition in which all but one count will be dismissed and he will be fined $1,000 for obstructing report of a crime.

The domestic assault charge stems from an incident April 29, 2022 incident when Bonneau was accused of walking up behind the woman and pushing her so she fell on the pavement. The victim went to the police station following the assault and police said she had visible injuries to her hands and knees, according to the affidavit.

The woman then told officers she had been victimized by Bonneau numerous times over the past 20 years. The assaults, including an estimated 20 black eyes, a possible broken arm, one strangulation attempt, and, on Dec. 1, 2021, an incident in which he slammed her head against the wall and then pounded her head into the floor, leaving her in a pool of blood, she said. The woman said he would not let her go to the hospital and she laid in a bathtub for two days.

She said he acted like this when he was drunk.

Rockland police then located Bonneau and arrested him.

At the Dec. 9 hearing, the woman spoke before the judge via Zoom and said she was not a victim but a survivor of 19 years of abuse.  She said despite all that he did to her he did not break her.

Assistant District Attorney King said there would have been both proof problems but also the defense could raise self-defense at trial. There were graphic photos of injuries but that the court had ruled earlier that they could not be used at trial, the prosecutor said. She said there was a significant chance that if the case had gone to trial, he could have been acquitted and that the agreement results in a conviction.

Court files in the case also point out that the defense was seeking to be able to use criminal charges that had been filed against her.

Other cases completed in the Knox County court from Dec. 2 through Dec. 9 were:

Philip Postiglione, 29, Winterport, assault on Sept. 27, 2019 in Thomaston, 48 hours in jail, $750 fine.

Stacy Wadleigh, 53, Vinalhaven, operating after habitual offender revocation, dismissed; operating while license suspended or revoked, $1,000 fine.

Mary B. Dimatteo, 65, North Yarmouth, theft and forgery on April 12, 2021 in Rockport, both dismissed.