A man charged with manslaughter and arson in connection with the death of a 59-year-old Bangor resident over two years ago was convicted on Monday by the Bangor Superior Court.
Judge William Anderson sentenced Joseph Johnson, 32, of the Old Town to 20 years in prison with a suspended sentence except nine years for the death of Berton “Bert” Conley.
Prosecutors said that on November 1, 2019, Johnson and Cote Choneska de Veazie went to Conley’s home on Essex Street in Bangor to buy drugs. Johnson and Conley got into an argument and Choneska left the house when Conley pulled out a gun. Johnson then beat Conley with his fists before setting the house on fire, according to a Bangor Daily News report.
Bangor firefighters responded to the blaze that morning at the Essex Street house and found Conley unconscious. He was later pronounced dead at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.
Choneska, 41, was also charged with aiding and abetting the murder and pleaded guilty in October to obstructing Johnson’s arrest. He was sentenced to a five-year suspended prison sentence except 22 months.
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