BANGOR — A Penobscot County man will spend 11 years in prison in connection with a shooting death in Millinocket.
Jason Mulligan, 46, entered a guilty plea for manslaughter Tuesday morning for the shooting death of 23-year-old Cameron Pelkey on March 15, 2020.
Mulligan was sentenced to 20 years in prison with all but 11 suspended and four years probation..
“While the defendant had the gun pointed in the general direction of Mr. Pelkey and Mr. Schiller, Mr. Pelkey, who now had a 2 by 4, struck the defendant with the 2 by 4 striking the hand that the gun was in. At that point the gun discharged and Cameron fell to the ground,” Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea said.
Mulligan’s defense attorney, David Bate, argued that if the gun were hit by an object even without pressure on the trigger, it would discharge.
“That defect seemed to mitigate against intentional or knowing shooting in this case and was consistent with Mr. Mulligan’s statement that he didn’t intend to shoot Mr. Pelkey,” Bate said.
Zainea said Mulligan had been looking for drugs and accused the other two people inside the home of taking his.
The assistant attorney general said the drugs were turned over to Mulligan before the gun was fired.
“The reason we didn’t go to trial is because there was some dangerous issues that the state would have presented in terms of drug use by all the parties involved,” Bate said. “Mr. Mulligan admitted to furnishing heroin to these people and ingesting it himself, so his judgment would have been tainted somewhat and also he was a prohibited person and it was unclear the extent to which that would have been used against him by the state.”
Pelkey’s friends and family took the stand saying how hardworking and kind he was.
Mulligan apologized and said, “No parent should ever have to lose a kid.”
Along with manslaughter, he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, theft, possession of scheduled drugs, OUI and violation of conditions of release.
Mulligan will have to pay several fines and $1,375 to the victim compensation fund.