Morrill man to be sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to shooting, killing, romantic rival

Mon, 11/30/2020 - 4:00pm

    BELFAST — A Morrill man is set to be sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to the 2019 shooting death of a romantic rival. 

    Austin McDevitt, 24, pleaded guilty to the intentional or knowing murder of 26-year-old Shane Sauer in Waldo County Superior Court Nov. 25. Sauer was killed following a confrontation with McDevitt in March 2019. 

    Facing a sentence anywhere from 25 years to life in prison, McDevitt is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 4, at 1 p.m.

    McDevitt drove himself to the Belfast Police station, where he was initially interviewed by a police sergeant before Maine State Police detectives were contacted to interview him further. 

    According to an affidavit filed by MSP Detective Scott Quintero, McDevitt stated that “he had been sleeping at his girlfriend’s and woke up to getting his ‘ass kicked’ by his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend and that he shot him [Shane Sauer].”

    McDevitt reportedly met a woman he was seeing romantically in Belfast before the two traveled to her mother’s Swanville home, where the two eventually intended to camp for the night, according to an affidavit. 

    A short time after going to sleep, the woman in question said she was awoken by Sauer and McDevitt engaging in a brief physical confrontation.

    The fight reportedly ended when McDevitt put Sauer in a chokehold, who then grabbed McDevitt’s testicles before both agreed to “terminate the fight” according to the affidavit filed by Det. Scott Quintero. 

    It is then McDevitt exited the sleeping area after tucking a pistol into his waistband, according to his initial interviews. 

    McDevitt reportedly told detectives that he was familiar with Sauer, and believed Sauer and the woman were in a romantic relationship that was in the process of ending, according to an affidavit. 

    Sauer was reportedly upset that she was dating McDevitt and sat crying briefly on a bed before rising to leave. The woman reportedly stated that she tried to get Sauer to stay and talk, and was holding his hand as he was leaving when she heard several gunshots. 

    In interviews with detectives, McDevitt reportedly stated that as Sauer left the home roughly two minutes after him, Sauer said he was “going to kill” McDevitt. 

    McDevitt reportedly told detectives it was then that he pulled his pistol.

    “Without either party saying a word McDevitt fired a round at Sauer,” the affidavit said.

    “McDevitt advised that he emptied his gun, firing 16 rounds at Sauer,” according to Det. Quintero’s affidavit. 

    An autopsy revealed Sauer had been shot seven times, with three shots to the head ultimately causing his death.  

    Erica Thoms can be reached at