PORTLAND — A 22-year-old man is appealing his 45-year sentence for a double killing in western Maine.

Eric Hamel is challenging the sentence he received after pleading guilty to two counts of murder in the 2009 shooting deaths of two men in Rumford.

In his appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Hamel argues that the lower court judge abused its discretion in sentencing him to a longer term than that of his two co-conspirators, thereby creating an inequality in violation of state law.

Justices are scheduled to hear his appeal on Jan. 16.

Richard Moulton was sentenced to 40 years after pleading guilty to two counts of murder for his role in the killings. Moulton’s girlfriend, Gayla Sheldon, was sentenced to 15 years for helping to plan the killings.

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