The driver in a hit-and-run that killed a bicyclist in Windham last fall will serve five years in prison, a judge ruled Monday at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland.

Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills said the manslaughter sentence for Devin Brown was severe, given that he did not have multiple drunken-driving convictions on his record. But she agreed to abide by the plea deal worked out between prosecutors and Brown’s lawyer.

Brown ran into and killed Brandon Dumond, 26, on Nov. 16 in Windham, just a few hundred feet from Dumond’s house on Anderson Road. Family members said Dumond was escorting his 14-year-old sister, who was riding her bicycle to a friend’s nearby house, during the early evening.

Family members said Dumond was a hardworking young man who was devoted to his family, enjoyed motocross and overcame serious heart and lung disease as a child.

Laurene Dumond, his mother, said the family felt a harsher penalty was needed than the five years called for in the plea deal. She said police saw no sign that Brown hit his brakes, either before or after running into Dumond, and family members suspected that Brown crashed his car into a ditch less than 2 miles from where Dumond was hit in an attempt to cover up evidence of damage to his car.

A blood test showed that Brown’s blood-alcohol level was 0.16, twice the legal limit for operating under the influence.

Prosecutors dropped two relatively minor charges against Brown, who is from Tennessee and had been in Maine only a couple of weeks when the crash occurred. He pleaded guilty to the most serious charges he faced: manslaughter and aggravated criminal operating under the influence.

During her emotional statement to Mills, Laurene Dumond called Brown “a menace to society.”

“You know that you hit my son and you left him in a ditch of ice cold water to die,” she said. “In my eyes, you’re just a murderer.”

She recounted Brandon Dumond’s difficult first few years, during which he grew slowly until doctors discovered his heart and lung disease. She also emotionally recalled the night of the crash, when she unsuccessfully tried to revive her son by helping to perform CPR until an ambulance arrived.

Dumond told Mills that five years was an insufficient sentence and suggested that Brown be given the maximum instead. He faced up to 10 years on the OUI charge and up to 30 years for manslaughter.

However, Mills said she reviewed the sentences in similar cases and found it was rare for someone to serve more than five years for manslaughter in a car crash, even in cases in which alcohol was involved. The exceptions, she said, involved drivers with prior OUIs on their records.

Before explaining her reasoning, Mills said her decision “will not make anyone here happy.” She agreed that the impact of Brown’s actions on the Dumond family argued for a longer sentence, but that was offset by the fact that he pleaded guilty, sparing the family a trial, and she felt Brown had sincerely accepted responsibility for his actions and expressed genuine remorse.

In a brief statement, Brown apologized to his own family and Dumond’s.

“I am deeply ashamed and sorry from the bottom of my heart,” he said. Drinking and then driving, he said, was “a horrible choice.”

Prosecutors said Brown had three beers while at dinner with his mother and then bought two 24-ounce beers at a convenience store, which he apparently drank while driving from Scarborough to Windham, looking for a friend’s house. Prosecutors said Brown sent multiple text messages to the friend, saying he couldn’t find the house. Some of those messages were sent after he hit Dumond, according to prosecutors.

Brown was sentenced to 12 years, with all but five years suspended, for manslaughter and five years on the OUI charge, which will be served concurrently with the manslaughter sentence. He will also have his driver’s license suspended for 10 years, be fined $2,100 and be on probation for four years after he’s released from prison.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]

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