Skowhegan man to be arraigned Monday for South Portland shooting death
SOUTH PORTLAND — A 50-year-old Skowhegan man accused of killing a South Portland man is free on bail after turning himself in to authorities on Tuesday.
Malcolm "Bruce" LaVallee-Davidson is scheduled to be arraigned on a manslaughter charge in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland on Monday, according to Assistant Attorney General William Stokes.
Stokes said LaVallee-Davidson turned himself in after returning to Maine from a previously planned visit to California. A bail officer at the Cumberland County Jail said LaVallee-Davidson posted $10,000 cash bail shortly after turning himself in.
LaVallee-Davidson was indicted on Friday, May 8, by a Cumberland County grand jury for allegedly shooting Fred Wilson, a 50-year-old computer programmer, in the basement of Wilson's Henry Street home. Wilson died on April 18 of a gunshot wound to the head.
An indictment is a determination that enough evidence exists to prosecute, not a finding of guilt.
Stokes said LaVallee-Davidson admitted to pointing a .22 caliber handgun at Wilson's head and pulling the trigger. The manslaughter charge indicates that prosecutors believe LaVallee-Davidson's handling of the gun was improper and reckless, but did not amount to premeditated murder.
"He was mistakenly under the assumption that the gun was not loaded," Stokes said. "We're satisfied there was no intent to kill."
Stokes would not comment on why LaVallee-Davidson, one of three men at the home during the incident, did not report the shooting to police until the following evening. The third man has not been charged.
Stokes said investigators know how LaVallee-Davidson and Wilson came to be together during the late-night and early morning hours of April 17 and 18, but declined to discuss these and other details of the case.
Stokes said a manslaughter conviction carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
LaVallee-Davidson is being represented by Thomas Hallett, a Portland defense attorney. Hallett said that he did not have enough information about the case to comment on behalf of his client, but added, "from everything that we've been hearing, it appears this is a pretty clear-cut accidental case and a tragic and awful thing."
Friends and family remembered Wilson as a brilliant computer programmer who went out of his way to lend a hand. Friends said he loved square-dancing and had a passion for gardening, a flair for interior design and loved riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Wilson's sister said he had lived life to the fullest and had become fearless later in life.
Wilson was buried at sea on April 24 near Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth.
Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or firstname.lastname@example.org