A man charged with manslaughter and arson in connection with the death of a 59-year-old Bangor resident over two years ago was sentenced Monday in Superior Court in Bangor.

Judge William Anderson sentenced 32-year-old Joseph Johnson of Old Town to 20 years in prison with all but nine years suspended in the death of Berton "Bert" Conley.

Prosecutors said on Nov. 1, 2019, Johnson and Cote Choneska of Veazie went to Conley’s home on Essex Street in Bangor to buy drugs. Johnson and Conley got into an argument and Choneska left the house when Conley pulled out a gun. Johnson then beat Conley with his fists before setting fire to the house, according to a report by the Bangor Daily News.

Bangor firefighters responded to the blaze that morning at the Essex Street house and found Conley unresponsive. He was later pronounced dead at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

The 41-year-old Choneska was also charged as an accomplice in the killing and pleaded guilty in October to hindering the apprehension of Johnson. He was sentenced to five years in prison with all but 22 months suspended.

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