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Jay man to serve 6 years for shooting death over drug debt

Timothy Danforth (WVII)

AUGUSTA (WGME/WVII) -- A Jay man charged in the shooting death of a New Sharon man will spend six years in prison.

Timothy Danforth, 26, pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this month to the June 2016 shooting of Michael Reis in Wilton over a $200 marijuana debt.

He was sentenced Wednesday.

Justice William Stokes outlined the events that led up to the shooting, saying the argument escalated over several days and both sides had an opportunity to stop it.

Danforth apologized to Reis' family, and his own family before he was sentenced by Stokes to 15 years in prison with all but six years suspended.

“I'd like to say that I am sincerely sorry for the loss you guys are feeling,” Danforth said turning to face the Reis family. “I know nothing I say will bring Michael back or take away any of the feeling you have towards me, but I hope in some way it will give you some sort of closure.”

Before Stokes issued his judgment, family members and friends on both sides of the aisle spoke passionately about their loved ones.

“It's hard to believe we'll never hear him say, 'I love you' or get those big bear hugs again,” said Joe Bissonnette, Reis' father.

Reis' twin brother described him as a protector who died over something as petty as a small bag of weed.

Danforth's mom asked for mercy.

Stokes also sentenced Danforth to four years of probation upon release from prison and added a number of condition including no contact with the Reis family.

It's tragic for both sides, the judge said.

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