FARMINGTON — A Franklin County justice found a Massachusetts man guilty Monday of shooting a man related to him by marriage on Dec. 30, 2020 in Dallas Plantation.

Jesse Duval Franklin County Sheriff’s Office photo

Jesse W. Duval, 47, of Westminster entered an Alford plea to a felony charge of aggravated assault before Justice Julia Lipez in Franklin County Superior Court.

An Alford plea means a defendant believes they are not guilty but knows that if the state submits the evidence it has at trial, a jury could find them guilty.

The case was scheduled to go to trial Monday but Duval entered his plea before it began.

Duval acknowledged that a jury could have convicted him based on the state’s evidence, but that he still maintained his innocence, his attorney, Walter McKee, of McKee Law in Augusta wrote in an email Thursday.

“This was, as is often the case with a plea, a compromise,” McKee wrote. “If there had been a trial there would have been significant testimony showing that Jesse only shot in self defense. But nothing is guaranteed and Jesse simply could not take the risk of losing and facing a mandatory minimum sentence of (two) years in prison.”


Felony charges of reckless conduct with a firearm and a different version of felony aggravated assault were dismissed in a plea agreement. The state dismissed a felony charge of elevated aggravated assault prior to jury selection, state Assistant District Attorney James Andrews said Thursday.

Duval and the relative were arguing inside a home on Lynn Way and went outside where the victim was shot, Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. wrote in a news release in December 2020.

A Rangeley police officer and two Border Patrol agents responded to the 6:19 p.m. call for medical help. Duval was arrested. The Rangeley police officer administered first aid until Northstar EMS ambulance personnel arrived, according to the statement.

“The state’s main concern here was that the defendant have a lifetime prohibition on firearms,” Andrews said. “The felony conviction does that. The victim in this case was not opposing resolving this with a 60-day sentence in jail.”

The victim was treated for the gunshot and released from Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington the same night, Andrews said. He did not require more medical treatment, he said.

Duval was sentenced to a straight 60 days in jail. He will begin his sentence in September.

He had faced up to 10 years in prison for the aggravated assault charge.

Comments are not available on this story.