Maine Man Convicted of Murder in Shotgun Killing of Wife

The jury weighed whether to convict Noah Gaston of manslaughter or murder, or neither

A man who killed his wife with a shotgun blast in Windham, Maine, has been convicted of murder.

The defense didn't dispute that Noah Gaston shot his wife Alicia, but contended he thought she was an intruder on the morning of Jan. 14, 2016. Prosecutors said Gaston intended to kill his wife or at least acted recklessly.

Jurors deliberated for several hours Wednesday and then all day on Thursday. They reached their conclusion Friday morning, finding him guilty of murder.

Family had testified that the couple had been fighting in the days before Alicia Gaston's death. Noah Gaston, who did not testify, has been jailed since his arrest.

The decision ends a months-long wait for Alicia Gaston's family after a February mistrial.

"Clearly the length of time they took to reach a verdict shows how hard they worked," Assistant Maine Attorney General Meg Elam said.

As Noah Gaston heard the word guilty, convicting him of murder, his head fell to the table.

He also left the courtroom shaking his head, indicating his disapproval with the jury's verdict.

A short time later, his defense attorney Rob Andrews said he would soon file an appeal.

"We're obviously extremely disappointed," Andrews said. "In the coming weeks, we'll be filing some motions and ultimately there will be an appeal in the case."

Gaston's case could also play a role in another state investigation.

The Maine Attorney General's Office is reviewing cases overseen by the state's Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Mark Flomenbaum, who was fired by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2007 after a body was misplaced while he was in charge there.

A change in Flomenbaum's forensic findings in Gaston's case played a role in his mistrial though state prosecutors dispute the specifics.

"I think it's been misunderstood by many people including the media what actually happened that caused the mistrial," Elam said. "Clearly the defense thought they needed more time to consider what evidence they wanted to produce, but what became clear throughout the trial was that the medical examiner's opinion had not changed. In fact, the defense expert, who is a medical examiner, completely concurred in all the findings of Maine’s Chief Medical Examiner."

Either way, Gaston now faces time in prison while Alicia's family will begin to move forward.

"We'll never have Alicia back but we’re happy justice was served," said Amy Ouelette, Alicia's sister-in-law.

Prosecutors have not asked for a specific sentence length for Gaston. A sentencing date was not set on Friday.

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