PORTLAND — A 50-year-old Skowhegan farmer accused of fatally shooting a South Portland man pleaded not guilty May 18 in Cumberland County Superior Court.
Malcolm Bruce Lavallee-Davidson is charged with manslaughter for killing his friend, Fred Wilson,
a 50-year-old computer programmer, last month in the basement of Wilson’s Willard Beach neighborhood home.
Lavallee-Davidson remains free on bail, with conditions. He posted $10,000 in cash bail immediately after turning himself in last week.
Justice Robert Crowley granted Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese’s request to place Lavallee-Davidson on probation, preventing his use of alcohol and drugs and possession of firearms. Lavallee-Davidson is also subject to random compliance checks.
“Drugs, alcohol and firearms were used on the night of the killing of Mr. Wilson,” Marchese said in court.
After the arraignment, neither Marchese nor defense attorney Michael Whipple would specify what kind of drugs were involved and what role they might have played in the shooting.
Whipple said Lavallee-Davidson knew Wilson for three years before he accidentally shot Wilson in the head during the early morning hours of April 18.
“Mr. Lavallee-Davidson is devastated by the loss of his friend, Fred Wilson,” Whipple said. “What everyone needs to know is that this was a tragic accident.”
Investigators said Lavallee-Davidson has admitted to pointing the gun at Wilson’s head and pulling the trigger, and claims he did not know the gun was loaded. The manslaughter indictment accuses Lavallee-Davidson of recklessly handling a firearm with criminal negligence.
Although Wilson is believed to have been shot in the early morning hours of April 18, Lavallee-Davidson did not report the shooting to police until about 8 p.m. that evening. Whipple would not comment about why his client did not report the shooting sooner.
“Some of the forensic evidence is not back,” Whipple said. “We are
awaiting some significant forensic discovery that will have a critical
impact on how this case progresses.”
Assistant Attorney General William Stokes said he misspoke last week when he said a .22-caliber handgun was used in the shooting. The grand jury indictment said Wilson was shot with a .44-caliber Smith & Wesson hand gun.
A third man who was at Wilson’s Henry Street home during the shooting has not been charged.
Motions must be filed in court by Sept. 11. A tentative trial date has been set for Nov. 30.