Dylan Ketcham, a 23-year-old Gardiner man, was sentenced to 65 years in prison on Tuesday for the murder of his friend Jordan Johnson and the attempted murder of Caleb Trudeau in a brutal attack involving a pistol and machete in January 2020.
Grisly Attack Leaves One Dead, Another Permanently Injured
Ketcham was found guilty of murder, attempted murder, and elevated aggravated assault for fatally shooting Jordan Johnson in the head during a violent confrontation near Quimby Field ballfields in Gardiner. In the same incident, Ketcham attacked Caleb Trudeau with a machete, nearly severing both of his wrists and cutting his skull to the bone. Trudeau, a close friend of Ketcham's since kindergarten, survived the attack but suffered severe injuries that will likely leave him without full use of his hands.
Judge Delivers 65-Year Sentence for Separate Crimes
Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy sentenced Ketcham to 45 years for Johnson's murder and 30 years, with all but 20 suspended, and four years of probation, for the attempted murder of Trudeau. Ketcham will serve consecutive sentences for the two separate crimes, totaling 65 years in prison.
Family Members Satisfied with Sentence, Express Anger Over Lack of Remorse
Family members of the victims appeared satisfied with the 65-year sentence. However, they expressed anger that Ketcham has not shown remorse for his crimes. Ketcham did not speak in court or make eye contact with the families of his victims.
Defense Attorneys to Appeal Conviction and Sentence
Ketcham's attorney, Stephen Smith, said they were disappointed with the sentence and would appeal both the conviction and the sentence. The defense argued that the case was one of self-defense and that Johnson had previously threatened Ketcham, resulting in the deadly confrontation.
Prosecutors Pleased with Sentence, Acknowledge Ongoing Pain for Victims' Families
Prosecutor Meg Elam, an assistant attorney general, said they were pleased with the imposed sentence, which reflects the seriousness of the crime and Ketcham's dangerousness. However, she acknowledged that the sentence could not take away the pain and suffering of the victims' families and Trudeau, whose lives have been forever changed by the attack.
Source: Sun Journal