A Waterville man is going to prison for 42 years for the shooting death of his girlfriend.

What Were the Details of the Case?

Melissa Sousa, 29, was reported missing in late October, 2019. Police said she had last been seen putting her twin daughters, age 8, on the school bus in Waterville. Sousa shared a duplex home on Gold Street in Waterville with her boyfriend, Nicholas Lovejoy, who was also the girls' father. After she went missing, friends told investigators that the couple had a difficult relationship and that Sousa had expressed concern that her boyfriend would kill her. At midnight, Lovejoy was in police custody after being stopped in his vehicle with a loaded shotgun. Police said he had left the girls at home alone.

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The next afternoon, investigators reported that Sousa's body had been found in the basement of the duplex, wrapped in a tarp. After an examination of the body by the State Medical Examiner's Office, Lovejoy was charged with murder.

Why Do Prosecutors Say She Was Murdered?

Nicholas Lovejoy pleaded guilty in court to killing Sousa by shooting her twice in the stomach. According to WGME-TV, Prosecutors said he became enraged when he learned that his girlfriend planned to leave him. This week, Nicholas Lovejoy was sentenced to 42 years in prison for the murder of Melissa Sousa.

How Do I Access Resources for Victims of Domestic Abuse?

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, help is out there. The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence has a list of resources on its website, and a helpline number that is staffed by qualified counselors, 24/7. That number is 1-866-834-HELP (4357). You can also find resources available in your area by calling 211, anytime.

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