Knox Superior Court sentences Diana to 45 years for murder
Rockland — A 37-year-old Rockland man on Oct. 12 was sentenced to 45 years in prison for the murder of Katrina Windred of Friendship.
Arnold Diana was convicted July 26 on the ninth day of his trial in Knox County Superior Court.
At the trial, the prosecutor presented evidence that Diana strangled Windred on Nov. 20, 2010, at the Thorndike apartment building where he lived. The prosecution called the case a domestic violence murder because Diana was unable to handle the break up of his relationship with Windred.
She was 48 at the time of her death.
Justice Jeffrey Hjelm on Friday weighed mitigating and aggravating factors in the defendant's case to come to his decision following a detailed analysis.
Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese asked for a 50-year sentence, while defense attorney Christopher MacLean asked for 25 to 30 years.
The judge's analysis came after the pre-sentencing testimonies of relatives and friends of the victim and friends of the defendant.
Hjelm said he considered public safety, seriousness of the case and the role of the sentence as a deterrence to discourage others from committing similar killings, in arriving at his decision.
Prior to the sentencing, several witnesses spoke on behalf of Windred and a few spoke for Diana.
Lynne Stevens, a friend and adopted sister of Windred, noted her devotion to her 12-year-old son.
"With her gift of giving to others, her life was snuffed out by the one she sought to help," Stevens said, referring to Windred's visit to Diana's apartment taking him food and clothing the night she was killed.
Vicki Harriman also spoke on behalf of Windred, calling her by her full name, "Katrina Hodgkins Crie Windred. She came into my life when she was 6 years old," Harriman said. "She was a happy young athlete."
Noted as a horse woman, Windred "had the ability to become one with a horse," Harriman said.
She said that on Sept. 15, the entire equine community came together to help the son.
"I ask that he be placed where he can do no harm," Harriman said of Diana.
Angela and Leo Porter also spoke of Windred's ability as an equestrian.
"Arnold betrayed our trust," Angela Porter said of Diana. "May God look down on him."
Pam Vose, a cousin, and her husband, David, reminded the courtroom that Windred was the kind of person who "put other people first."
Her son is a gifted child and shouldn't be without his mother, Pam Vose said.
"I ask that the stiffest penalty be given," she said.
"I hope you will hand out the longest life sentence to this man," David Vose said.
Guy Johnson, who identified himself as the father of Windred's son, talked about the boy and about how he is bottled up inside.
"He can't talk about his mother's death," he said.
"Arnold was fond of the boy," he added. "I don't see how anyone who knew the history of the boy and his mother could murder her."
"I do believe this man never belongs back in society," Johnson added.
Vermont resident Holly Butterman introduced herself as the sister of Windred, saying that Katrina was the "ultimate victim of Arnold's violent rage."
As Butterman talked, the court played a DVD of Windred showing different stages of her life and the different people in her life.
Sandra Frand, a friend of Diana, talked about her love for him.
Heidi Phillips said she loved them both, and referred to the jealousy that allegedly drove Diana to murder.
"There's so much jealousy in this world," Phillips said. "It's hard to listen to all the pain on both sides."
Defense attorney MacLean took issue with the prosecutor's statement that the boy witnessed the death of his mother and denied that the killing was a domestic violence murder.
MacLean said there were several mitigating factors in his client's behalf, suggesting that the killing was close to manslaughter.
"Diana didn't try to flee, and he took steps necessary to protect the boy," MacLean said.
The attorney said that Diana has been a model citizen at the Knox County Jail and that his good-natured personality is a mitigating factor.
"We believe the mitigation outweighs aggravating factors," said MacLean.
Hjelm did not agree.
He said that while Diana had used no inanimate object, like a firearm, in killing Windred the "deadly weapon was Mr. Diana's hands when he strangled her."
He also pointed out that the strangulation was aggravating because, as had been pointed out during the trial by the medical examiner, unconsciousness can occur in 10 seconds.
"In those few seconds, she had an awareness of what was happening to her," Hjelm said.
The judge also criticized Diana for placing the boy on a bed next to the body of his dead mother and cited the ongoing trauma that could be with the son forever. "That was an aggravating factor," Hjelm said.
Then, after Diana killed Windred, he took her credit card and her son and walked to the ATM at the bank and withdrew $60 of her money, which Hjelm called theft after her death.
The judge also criticized Diana's attempts to hide the evidence and drop her body in a field off West Thompson Road, where it was discovered a few days later accidentally by a man out walking his dog.
For mitigating factors, the judge referred to Diana's unstable childhood between the ages of 5 and 12, his placement in a boarding school so that he was denied a family life, and his IQ of 80.
After the sentence was issued and court was adjourned, Marchese said she would have "liked the sentence to be more, but under the laws of the state of Maine, it was fair."
"The state is pleased with the sentence imposed," she added. "Forty-five years is a long time. He's going to be in jail until his late 70s."
Marchese also said she was glad the judge recognized the killing as a domestic violence murder.
MacLean, on the other hand, said he was hoping for a lower sentence, but was impressed with the analysis of the judge's sentencing.
"We're looking forward to appeals," he said of the conviction and the sentencing.
Courier Publications reporter George Chappell can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401, ext. 117, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.