PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Braintree construction worker pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and will serve an 18-month sentence for the punch that killed his friend and co-worker last year.
Robert Clarke of Braintree and Elliott Fama of Wilmington came to Maine in October last year for a construction job. Police said Clarke hit Fama during a fight over a cigarette. Video evidence showed that Fama lost consciousness after he was hit and hit his head on a curb. He died days later in the hospital, The Portland Press Herald reported.
Clarke was originally charged with aggravated assault but a grand jury indicted on a manslaughter charge after Fama died.
But the Maine Attorney General’s Office agreed to dismiss the charge as a part of an agreement. Superior Court Justice Thomas McKeon suspended all but 18 months of a 10-year sentence Clarke could have potentially faced in prison.
The judge ordered Clarke pay $6,000 in funeral expenses and serve three years of probation.
At the hearing, Clarke apologized for his actions.
“I honestly didn’t mean to hurt him,” he said. “It was just stupid, and I’m sorry.”
Clarke’s sentence will begin in the fall, coinciding with the anniversary of Fama’s death.