A former Gardiner man once charged in connection with the killing of a Maine couple in California left a courtroom this week a free man — just weeks after his friend and accomplice was sentenced to life in prison.
Elijah Bae McKay, 30, was sentenced in California court Tuesday to two years behind bars, according to Lake County Record Bee reporter Jeremy Walsh. The sentence, which is less time than McKay had served since his arrest in October 2010, allowed him to avoid serving any additional jail time.
McKay has been free since last month, when he pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact. That same day, Robby Beasley, 32, formerly of Augusta, was sentenced to life in prison for the 2010 murder of Augusta couple Frank and Yvette Maddox.
McKay declined to comment after the sentencing, according to Walsh, but expressed remorse in a letter to the court.
“I messed up bad. I’ve learned my lesson,” McKay wrote. “I want nothing to do with illegal activities any more.”
McKay, like Beasley, originally was charged with double murder in connection with the shooting deaths of the Maddoxes. During a weeks-long trial late last year, McKay placed all the blame for the shooting on Beasley, who he said was angry with the Maddoxes for allegedly stealing his marijuana.
McKay admitted helping Beasley cover up the shooting by destroying his clothes and cellphone and helping Beasley move the Maddoxes’ truck.
Beasley, who went to California to work in McKay’s marijuana-growing operation, invited the Maddoxes west to work in the operation. The relationship soon soured and the couple was fired, though they remained in the area.
Beasley shot the couple several times before dragging their bodies down an embankment. They were discovered about six weeks later.
Craig Crosby — 621-5642