A Down East woman was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter on Monday for the death of 50-year-old Jason Aubuchon.
Aubuchon, known by the nickname “Cowboy,” died at Calais Regional Hospital on Dec. 26, 2021, after being shot, according to Shannon Moss, a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
Danielle Wheeler, 42, of Perry was arrested on Jan. 30, 2022, and charged with murder for allegedly shooting and killing Aubuchon. On March 22, 2022, she appeared by video from Washington County Jail and pleaded not guilty to the charge, NewsCenter Maine reported.
Wheeler changed her plea to guilty on Monday, ahead of a planned jury selection, according to WABI News.
According to an affidavit from Maine State Police, Wheeler called the Washington County regional communications center after Aubuchon was shot.
“I just shot my ex-boyfriend,” she told a dispatcher according to the police affidavit. “I’m going to jail. I’m going to jail; I’ve got to call my family.”
She also had allegedly taken a bag containing a white substance out of her pocket and told police that the drugs belonged to Aubuchon, as well as claiming that there were more drugs located under his body, which were found when his body was moved, according to NewsCenter Maine.
She also allegedly told police that a gun located on a TV stand in the residence was the one used to shoot Aubuchon.
In February 2020, Wheeler was arrested by Portland police for assaulting Aubuchon in a motel parking lot. At the time, Aubuchon told police that similar incidents happened often. However, a complaint was never filed because he told the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office that he had slipped on ice, injuring himself, the affidavit recounted from a 2020 police report.
Aubuchon was well-liked in the small coastal city of Eastport, with community members recounting how he had a knack for putting others first and carrying a cheerful disposition.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed Danielle Wheeler’s age. She is 42.