BANGOR (NEWS CENTER Maine) — A judge has sentenced convicted killer Philip Scott Fournier to 45 years in prison.
Fournier is convicted in the 1980 murder of 16-year-old Joyce McLain.
McLain, a Schenk High School student, was on a run to train for soccer season when she was killed.
Fournier was charged with the crime in 2016, 36 years after it occurred.
In Friday’s sentencing hearing, a judge listened to testimony from Joyce’s family and friends. Her mother Pam was not in court due to an illness.
The judge heard written testimony from both Joyce’s mother, Pam, and sister, Wendy, which was read out loud by people representing the family. Wendy detailed how her sister’s death drastically changed the course of her life, leading to a variety of mental health problems and alcoholism.
Her daughter Joyce, whom she named after her sister, also spoke to the court about both the honor and burden of bearing her late aunt’s name.
Joyce’s two friends from high school recounted how hard it was to go to soccer practice after their best friend’s murder. Practice took place just feet from where Joyce’s body was found in the woods.
Prosecutors asked the judge to consider a 55-year sentence.
On the defense’s side, Philip Fournier, who goes by Scott, spoke for himself. This is the first time he has testified throughout the course of this case.
Fournier maintained his innocence and did not apologize to the family of Joyce McLain. Instead, he said he doesn’t remember anything from the night of August 8, 1980. Fournier has a traumatic brain injury from a car accident that same day. He also said he had a drinking problem at the time, but has since gotten help. He said he hasn’t had a sip of alcohol since 1984.
“It sounds like Joyce was a wonderful person,” he told the court. “I have proven that I was not involved in Joyce’s murder.”
Fournier’s family and lawyers say he plans to appeal this decision. He has already asked his attorney to file an appeal.
The minimum possible sentence in this case was 25 years, with the maximum being life in prison.
McLain’s family said they are satisfied with the 45-year sentence.