Belfast man takes post-conviction appeal to Maine high court
Belfast — A Belfast man who pleaded guilty in 2010 to the kidnapping, robbery and attempted murder of a Belfast woman is asking the Maine Law Court to review an order denying his request that his sentence be reconsidered as part of a post-conviction review.
According to a notice dated Jan. 30 from Stanley Ward's attorney, William Pagnano, of Rockland, Ward is seeking to appeal a Jan. 16 order from Justice Jeffrey Hjelm denying Ward's petition seeking relief from some or all of his 45-year sentence. According to the notice, Hjelm denied Ward's request for relief after holding a hearing on the matter.
In his notice, Pagnano states that he will file a memorandum with the Maine Law Court within the next 21 days detailing reasons he believes the court should consider Ward's appeal of Hjlem's decision.
In July of 2010, Hjelm sentenced Ward to serve 50 years in prison with five years suspended and four years of probation after Ward pleaded guilty to the charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery, which the state contended Ward committed in Novembr 2009. Hjelm also ordered Ward to pay $10,226 in restitution as part of his sentence.
The crimes for which Ward was sentenced occurred Nov. 24, 2009, when, according to court documents, he went to the home of Patricia Moss of Belfast, who was 73 years old at the time of the incident. Ward demanded Moss give him money, then kidnapped her and took her to a location in the town of Knox, where he stabbed her, cut her throat and left her for dead.
Court records show Ward went to Moss's home and asked her for money. Moss invited Ward in, asked how she could help and reportedly offered to find him a job doing yard work. Ward became angry, assaulted Moss, held a knife to her throat and demanded money from her. Moss reportedly gave Ward cash, and he then bound her hands together with duct tape, forced her into her car and drove her to a location that was unknown to her. When he demanded more money from Moss, she offered to write him a check, but said her checkbook was at home. They returned to the residence and she wrote him a check for $300, and then Ward forced her back into her car and drove to a trailer on a dirt road near Dutton Pond in Knox.
According to police, Ward then forced Moss into the trailer, where he stabbed her, slashed her throat and then left her there. As part of his summary of the case during Ward's sentencing hearing, Waldo County Deputy District Attorney Eric Walker said Ward later deposited Moss' check, had a couple of beers and smoked some marijuana after leaving her in the trailer.
After losing consciousness for a time, Moss crawled out of the trailer and onto the dirt road. While crawling along the dirt road, she at one point rolled into the ditch because she heard a vehicle approaching and thought it might be Ward.
Moss saw a vehicle that looked like Ward's truck heading for the trailer she had just left, and soon saw Ward emerge from the truck and enter the trailer. He left a few minutes later. Moss continued crawling until she finally reached Route 137, where she was discovered by a passerby and an ambulance was called.
Ward was arrested at his Patterson Hill residence in Belfast the following morning. He later told police he'd been planning his crimes for two days, and that his original target was another older woman from Northport. When Ward discovered that woman was out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday, he decided to instead target Moss.
Walker said both Moss and the woman from Northport had previously hired Ward's father to do their landscaping work.
At the time of Ward’s sentencing, Hjelm said the "magnitude of the ferocity and violence" of Ward's crimes, Ward's apparent lack of remorse and the effect the crime had on the victim and her family were all things he took into consideration in determining Ward's sentence.