ELLSWORTH — Justice Robert Murray described a double shooting and robbery at a Trenton residence on Dec. 20, 2020, as “significantly horrendous” while imposing an eight-year prison sentence for a man charged with attempted murder in the case.
“There was an element of terror in that occasion for those involved,” said Murray before sentencing Larry Smith of Milbridge to 20 years in prison, all but eight years suspended. The sentencing occurred as part of a plea hearing Jan. 6 at the Hancock County government complex.
Armed with a .22-caliber handgun, Smith shot one victim in both knees and shot another victim in the back, abdomen and face, said District Attorney Matt Foster.
Before the sentencing, Smith pleaded no contest to the charge of attempted murder as well as no contest to one count each of elevated aggravated assault and robbery.
Attorney Steven Juskewitch, representing Smith, described the victims as “significant personal and business friends of Sherry and Larry Smith.” Sherry is Larry’s wife and co-defendant. She was sentenced last fall to 15 years in prison with all but eight years to serve.
Foster said Larry Smith shot one of his victims in the back with a .22-caliber handgun. The man who was shot in the back crawled to a neighbor’s house to ask for help, the prosecutor said.
Meanwhile, Sherry Smith stabbed someone in the leg who had been grappling with her husband, Foster said. The couple left the scene. The state never recovered the .22-caliber handgun.
Investigators were told the gun was thrown from the Smiths’ vehicle somewhere between Trenton and Holden, where the two were captured, Foster said.
The residence where the incident took place had video cameras set up and those cameras captured the violence. There was no recorded sound, however, according to the attorneys.
“The video evidence presents Sherry as a very active principal in these crimes,” Juskewitch said. “He [Larry] was in a psychotic drug-induced state,” at the time of the incident.
“His belief was they’d stopped to get gas money to go to Dedham to meet with some” people, said Juskewitch.
All of the charges are Class A felonies, which carry potential 30-year sentences.
Foster advised Justice Murray that the victims in the case have not cooperated, which was a factor in the plea negotiations.
“If this had gone to trial, we would have to subpoena them,” Foster said.
Smith’s criminal history was another factor.
“Mostly misdemeanors” and in the “early to mid-’90s,” said Foster. But Smith also spent 18 months in the Maine Department of Corrections for a felony count of failure to appear. Smith was also convicted of arson, burglary and theft, according to the prosecutor, adding that Smith went about 20 years without any convictions for criminal conduct.
Murray ordered four years of probation to follow Smith’s release.
Smith, 52, in an interview with The American last month, said he has throat cancer and wants to use Maine’s Death with Dignity Act to end his suffering.
The Maine Death with Dignity Act, which the Legislature passed in 2019, allows terminally ill Maine residents to receive prescription medication to end their lives in a peaceful and dignified manner, according to the Death with Dignity organization.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Murray and Foster appeared from their respective offices via the online videoconferencing platform Zoom.
Smith and Juskewitch appeared from the Hancock County Jail via Zoom. Members of the media, a court clerk and a judicial marshal monitored the proceedings on a screen in the Hancock County Superior Court room.