BANGOR – A local transient charged in the beating death of a musician has a plea agreement with the state, and friends and family are not happy.
Accused murderer Donald Galleck, 30, changed his not guilty plea on Thursday in exchange for a shorter sentence.
The Bangor man was charged with murder in the November 2018 beating death of heavy metal musician Jason Moody.
In a plea deal with the state’s Attorney General’s Office, on Thursday he entered a guilty plea to manslaughter.
“We had a settlement conference yesterday and we reached this agreement,” said Hunter Tzovarras, who along with Wendy Hatch, represented Galleck. “And then we started the first step by Mr. Galleck pleading guilty today.”
He added in the plea agreement, “We’re expecting an eight-year sentence.”
Galleck will be sentenced sometime in February. Several people were upset with the decision.
“With the preponderance of evidence it’s just preposterous, it is,” said Robert Kearns, a friend of Moody, a bassist originally from Bar Harbor. “Eight years for a man is just amazing.”
“That’s not fair to Jason Moody and it’s not fair to his family,” said Amanda Hill, who is a distant relative of Galleck. “It’s like let me just tap you on the wrist.”
Hill is listed as one of the state’s witnesses.
Prosecutor Don Macomber told the judge Galleck accidentally used Facebook Messenger to video call her during the fight.
“She claimed that she saw Mr. Galleck strike Mr. Moody in the face three times, and Mr. Moody fell to the ground.
Mr. Galleck grabbed Mr. Moody by the throat and bashed his head off the ground seven times,” said Macomber, an assistant attorney general for Maine.
“It was pretty violent,” Hill said on the steps of the courthouse. “I saw everything. I told police everything I saw.”
Some have reported that Hill recanted her story, so she arrived at court to let people know that was not true.
“Try having to go to sleep every night having that in your head,” she said. “No one wants to relive that.”
The defense team said, “It’s been our position all along that there was no video and she didn’t see what she said she saw.”
Hill said detectives were not able to download the Messenger video, but were able to take photos of the call log.
“I guarantee when he gets out in eight years he’s going to be like ‘I can do what I want now,’” she said. “Like, I don’t think it’s going to affect him at all, in any shape or form of the consequences of his actions.”