Dustan Bentley pleaded guilty to murder in the death of 65-year-old William Popplewell, who was beaten, stabbed, and strangled with a ligature.
Police arrested Bentley as he was attempting to use a ratchet and strap to pull the body into the trunk of his car, which was lined with a shower curtain. An autopsy revealed the victim suffered multiple broken bones and had been stabbed up to 30 times.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court unanimously ruled that there was nothing in the record to indicate that the judge made a mistake.
“At no point did the court depart from sentencing principles or abuse its discretion in coming to or issuing its sentence,” the court said.
Bentley and Popplewell met at a Portland homeless shelter, and Bentley later moved into Popplewell’s apartment in Old Orchard Beach in December 2018. Popplewell was killed in March 2019.