Maine man convicted of killing sister’s boyfriend
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Portland man who testified he was defending himself when he fatally shot his sister’s boyfriend during a family fight is guilty of manslaughter, a judge ruled Friday.
Mark Cardilli Jr. testified he shot Isahak Muse to defend himself and his home during a violent confrontation early March 16. He told police he shot Muse in the chest, but an autopsy showed Muse was hit in the back.
Cardilli, 25, left the courtroom in handcuffs after Justice Nancy Mills announced her verdict on Friday.
The confrontation happened when the 22-year-old Muse, who was dating Cardilli’s 17-year-old sister, refused to leave the Portland home at the request of her parents, witnesses said. Pandemonium broke out, and Cardilli ran to his room to retrieve a handgun, according to testimony.
Cardilli testified he shot Muse after getting punched in the face and fearing Muse, who was unarmed, could gain control of the weapon.
The shooting created tension in the city’s Muslim community. Some called it a hate crime by a white man against a black Muslim man.
Cardilli’s sister testified that her brother made disparaging comments about Somali people, Muslim people and people of color. Cardilli denied making those types of comments.
The defense argued that the case was not about race or religion but about the limits of state self-defense law.
Maine law allows the use of deadly force in self-defense and defense of premises. Cardilli waived the right to a jury trial, so the testimony was heard by the the judge in Superior Court.
Cardilli will be sentenced at a later date. The maximum penalty for manslaughter is 30 years.
This story was first published on Dec. 27, 2019. It was updated on Dec. 30, 2019, to correct, in the headline, that Cardilli was convicted of manslaughter in the killing of his sister’s boyfriend, not his girlfriend’s boyfriend.