Union man gets six months for threatening neighbor

By Stephen Betts | Jun 06, 2018
Source: File photo

Rockland — A Union man, who is one of the few people still under the state's parole system for the 1975 beating death of a child, was sentenced Wednesday, June 6, to six months in jail for threatening a neighbor.

Steven R. Clark, 63, pleaded guilty in a Knox County court to terrorizing and refusing to submit to arrest. In exchange, an assault charge was dismissed.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred March 31 in Union. He has been held at the Knox County Jail since his arrest that day.

According to an affidavit filed in Knox County Unified Court by the Knox County Sheriff's Office shortly after the incident, police responded to a call from the neighbor, who reported that Clark became verbally abusive toward him. When the man did not respond to Clark, Clark slapped the man twice in the face, according to the police report.

Clark then threatened to shoot the man, although he had no weapon, according to the affidavit.

After the deputy interviewed the neighbor, he went to speak to Clark. The deputy found no weapons during a search of the home, but said Clark appeared intoxicated.

When he attempted to arrest Clark, the Union man resisted and the officer had to take Clark to the ground to handcuff him.

Clark was 21 years old when he was convicted by a jury in Knox County Superior Court of murder in the death of 23-month-old Jared D. Wright in Union. Clark was watching the child for the boy's mother. Testimony from medical authorities stated that the child was covered with numerous bruises when he was brought to the Knox General Hospital July 16, 1975. The child was not breathing and could not be revived.

The trial was one of the most prominent ever held in Knox County. Picking a jury became nearly impossible, because of the extensive pretrial publicity. The judge ended up ordering deputies to go onto the streets around the courthouse and bring citizens in as potential jurors.

Clark was sentenced to life in prison, but under state law at the time, a parole board would hear requests by prisoners for early release. Clark is one of the few people still serving under the parole system that was replaced in 1976 by the current system, in which there are specific sentences imposed by judges, followed often by probation.

He was released on parole after serving about 15 years.

He was sentenced to another nine months in jail in 1990 for possession of a firearm by a felon.

In April 2010, he was sentenced to five years in prison for aggravated assault against a motorist in November 2009 with a wooden club following a traffic dispute.

In 2014, only four people remained on parole. A request to the Maine Department of Corrections as to how many people remain on parole currently was not immediately answered.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Susan A. Butler | Jun 14, 2018 10:17

A total piece of s***!!!!!

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jun 06, 2018 16:15

WOW! Kill a child, a slap on the hand and off to do whatever to an innocent? This man is obviously in need of mental counseling and confined care for life!

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