YORK, Maine — Dustan Bentley, the 40-year-old man charged with the murder of his roommate, 65-year-old William Popplewell in 2019, was sentenced to 40 years in prison Tuesday.
Bentley appeared in York County Superior Court at 1 p.m. with members of both families in attendance via video conferencing. He was first scheduled to appear in court on May 4 for the murder that happened on March 18, 2019, but the date was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The two roommates had previously stayed at the Oxford Street Shelter in Portland. They had been living together at an apartment at 5 Boisvert Street in Old Orchard Beach for the past two months when the death occurred.
On an original guilty plea, the state argued for the maximum sentence of 40 years which was also echoed by Popplewell's family.
The defense argued that the extreme cruelty guidelines were not met and urged the judge to impose a sentence of 28 years, slightly above the minimum sentence of 25.
Bentley's mother asked the judge through video for “leniency" saying, "Bentley doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.” Last year, the State Medical Examiner's Office said Popplewell died from stabbing and blunt force trauma.
The state argued that although the crime isn’t life sentence appropriate, it did meet the exceptional cruelty guidelines. The judge cited the “savage, sustained, and cruelty of the murder," and said although Bentley accepts responsibility, he has yet to show any remorse.
Bentley is now sentenced to 40 years with credit for time served. Due to his financial situation, the state’s request for restitution was denied.
The video below is from March 20, 2019.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.