crimesider

Gay Rights Activist Bruce LaVallee-Davidson Convicted of Manslaughter in Sex Game Dungeon Slay

(AP/Gordon Chibroski)
PORTLAND, Maine (CBS/AP) Bruce LaVallee-Davidson, an outspoken gay rights activist who publicly fought for gay marriage, has been convicted of manslaughter in a bizarre sex game accident that included drugs and guns.

Bruce Lavallee-Davidson, center, sits with his court appointed attorneys, Jan. 11, 2010

Both the prosecution and the defense had agreed that LaVallee-Davidson, a 50-year-old Skowhegan, Maine farmer and avid gun collector, didn't intend to kill his friend, Fred Wilson, during a drug-fueled, three-way sex party that lasted 12 hours. But prosecutors contended that LaVallee-Davidson should have checked that the gun they were using to heighten their sexual role playing wasn't loaded before handling it.

"You never point a loaded gun at someone's head," Marchese said after resting her case Jan. 12, emphasizing it's the responsibility of the person holding the revolver to ensure the chamber is empty.

"You don't point a gun and pull the trigger unless you're 100 percent sure."

Much has been made of the sexual nature of the killings, but Marchese said the focus should be on the handling of the gun - not the sexual acts in the victim's basement.

Police say that the shooting occurred while a third man, James Pombriant, was engaged in a sex act with Wilson in the dungeon-like basement of Wilson's Colonial home in a middle-class neighborhood two blocks from the ocean.

Pombriant testified that the shot rang out and there was a moment of silence before Lavallee-Davidson said, "I think I killed him."

One of his lawyers, Mike Whipple, said his client checked three times over the course of the night to make sure the .44-caliber Rossi revolver wasn't loaded. Whipple contends it's likely Wilson loaded the gun while Lavallee-Davidson briefly stepped away to use the bathroom.

When Lavallee-Davidson returned, Wilson asked him to put the gun to his head and pull the trigger to intensify his pleasure, the defense had argued. On the first try, there was a click when Lavallee-Davidson pulled the trigger. Wilson asked him to do it again, and there was a flash, the defense said.

The case had garnered publicity because LaVallee-Davidson is a outspoken advocate for same-sex rights and was in a committed relationship when he testified in favor of keeping Maine's now-overturned gay marriage law at a public hearing, four days after the discovery of the body of 50-year-old Wilson and a couple of weeks before he was indicted.

LaVallee-Davidson faces up to 30 years in prison. Pombriant was not charged in the killing.


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