Maine Man Sentenced To Nearly 8 Years In Prison For Killing Sister’s Boyfriend

Mark Cardilli Jr. claimed he shot the victim twice in the back out of self-defense.

Mark Cardilli Jr. [Portland, ME Police Department / Facebook]

Mark Cardilli Jr. [Portland, ME Police Department / Facebook]

Mark Cardilli Jr. [Portland, ME Police Department / Facebook]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A Maine judge has ordered a white man convicted of manslaughter for fatally shooting his younger sister’s Black boyfriend during a family confrontation to serve seven and a half years in prison.

“I wish the events of that night never happened,” Mark Cardilli Jr., 25, said at Monday’s sentencing hearing at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland, according to the Associated Press. “It was a tragedy for both of our families.”

Cardilli admitted he killed Isahak Muse, 22, on March 16, 2019, after Cardilli’s parents asked Muse — who was dating their 17-year-old daughter, Chelsey Cardilli, and often had permission to stay overnight — to leave their home and he refused, the AP reported.

During the pandemonium that followed, Mark Cardilli Jr. went to his room and grabbed a handgun.

Cardilli claimed to investigators he shot Muse in the chest, but an autopsy later showed the victim had been hit twice in the back, the Bangor Daily News reported.

During a five-day bench trial in December, Cardilli argued he acted out of self-defense, alleging Muse was an intruder and had thrown punches at him during the fight.

Maine law states deadly force can be used in certain instances if it is for self-defense or defense of premises, according to Portland’s WCSH.

Prosecutors countered Muse was unarmed when Cardilli shot him and the case was really a hate crime.

Cardilli’s sister, who had been dating Muse for about a year before the shooting, testified in court that in the past her brother had made racist comments about Somalis and Muslims. Muse was born and raised in Portland but his parents were from Somalia.

Though Cardilli was originally charged with murder, Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills found him guilty of the lesser offense of manslaughter.

Chelsey Cardilli said in a victim-impact statement at her brother’s Aug. 31 sentencing hearing that she refused to forgive him.

“I will never be like you,” she said in court. “What you did to him shows people that to you, Black lives don't matter and to be able to say it had nothing to do with race is the privilege that you have.”

Suzanne Cardilli told the judge her son was just “protecting his family” and that he is a “loving,” “caring” and “non-judgmental” person.

The victim’s sister, Asli Muse, said her family has been left devastated by the shooting.

“Every single day we cry, my father cries, Isahak's mother cries, my sisters cry, my brothers cry,” she said. “There’s not one day that we smile and we feel regret for being somewhat happy. I have a child now. Isahak never got to meet her.”

Poland Spring’s WMTW reported that Justice Mills noted Cardilli, who had no prior criminal background, appeared remorseful for Muse’s death. She said he made a “devastating decision” the night of the shooting but was unlikely to reoffend.

“I expect no one will agree with this sentence or like this sentence who is in the courtroom today,” Mills said before ordering Cardilli to serve 11 years total, with 3 and a half years suspended, followed by four years of probation.

The defendant had faced anywhere from a minimum of four years in prison for manslaughter because a firearm was used to a maximum of 30 years.

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