A 24-year-old Searsport man has been convicted of aggravated assault in connection with a Dec. 17, 2009, shooting that sent a Frankfort man to the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds.

Matthew Sylvester pleaded guilty in Waldo County Superior Court July 30 to a charge of aggravated assault, a Class B crime. He has been sentenced to six years in prison with all but 18 months suspended, and will be required to serve three years’ probation and pay $15,000 restitution, according to Deputy District Attorney Eric Walker.

Initially, Sylvester was charged with attempted murder (a Class A crime) and aggravated assault for the shooting of 41-year-old Richard Brown. Sylvester, who was injured by police in a separate incident shortly after he shot Brown, was indicted on charges of attempted murder and elevated aggravated assault by a Waldo County grand jury in February.

Brown and Sylvester had been passengers in a car around 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 17 when the two began to quarrel. Both then got out of the car near the intersection of Mount Ephraim and North Searsport roads, near the North Searsport fire station, which is when and where the initial shooting took place, Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesman Steve McCausland said following the December incident. Brown survived the shooting.

Sylvester was then driven to his home on Porter Street, which he shared with his father, and it was there that Sylvester was shot around 4 a.m. by Maine State Police Trooper Corey Smith who had gone to the house to investigate the first shooting.

In April, following an investigation by the Maine Attorney General’s Office, it was determined that Smith acted within the law when he shot and wounded Sylvester.

Walker said that if this case had gone to trial it would have been difficult for both the defense and the state. Sylvester was claiming self-defense and there also were other weapons involved. The victim had a knife, Walker said.

To avoid the risk of acquittal “both sides were able to meet in the middle,” Walker said. Given the circumstances of the case “it was a relatively fair and appropriate compromise,” he added.

Sylvester will serve his sentence at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham. Now a convicted felon, upon release he will not be allowed to carry a weapon.