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Alleged Jealousy: Man, Convicted of Killing Ex-girlfriend and Its Boyfriend

Mark Penley was found guilty by a jury of fatally shooting Heather Bickford, of Canton, and her boyfriend, Dana Hill, of Paris, at Hill’s apartment on New Year’s Eve in 2019. Penley later dialed 911 to report the deaths, and police arrived to find him holding his ex-girlfriend’s infant and an 8-year-old child.

The Supreme Judicial Court faulted the judge for failing to consider the history of domestic abuse in the case and filed an appeal with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which heard oral arguments in the case in October 2022.

Penley’s sentences were overturned by the Supreme Court, which ordered the matter to the trial judge. Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber had argued that the judge had factored in only one of the sentencing analysis steps. Penley was depicted in court as a jealous ex-boyfriend who threatened Bickford’s life if she dated that certain man she recently seeing. (Williams, 2023).

The maximum penalty for murder in Maine is life in prison. According to the Maine Attorney General’s Office spokesperson, a judge imposed a pair of life sentences fine for each victim. The suspect left a bloody fingerprint on Bickford’s cellphone, and his DNA was also found on a gun recovered at the crime scene.

According to court records, the 31-year-old Bickford was afraid for her safety and said Penley had been following her. He later returned, saying he was there to visit Hill’s children, and made a 911 call to report that he’d discovered the bodies of the children. The children were unharmed.