Maines Sentenced in Madera Murder Case

CLEARFIELD – The aunt of a Blandburg man had harsh words for his convicted murderer Monday morning during sentencing court.

Johnathan Blair Maines, 21, was found guilty of third-degree murder for the death of Joshua Sahm after a trial in January.

Witnesses who testified during the trial painted a picture of a “drug house” where the residents did methamphetamine all night before the day of the murder.

Maines stabbed Sahm in both the back and the neck because he was jealous of him, District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. said during his closing arguments.

After the stabbing, Maines, Ashley Storm and Keith Pinter ran from the home while Sahm fell down a stairway, bleeding. He died on the way to the hospital, according to reports

Prior to sentencing Monday, Michelle O’Donnell addressed the court, saying her nephew was a “kind, loving, person” who loved life and being with his family. She referred to Maines as a “cowardly punk” who fled while Sahm was suffering and dying.

“I hope you are beaten and raped every day” in prison she said, adding “and that it gets worse each day.”

“Our family is forever broken,” O’Donnell said. She asked Judge Paul E. Cherry to not let Maines destroy another family by giving him the maximum sentence.

Sahm’s uncle David Killen, echoed their heartbreak, saying “our family weeps.” He stated that no one deserves to die the way Joshua Sahm died. “I can’t believe he was left bleeding at the bottom of the steps.”

Comments were also made regarding Maines not showing any remorse. His attorney, Joshua Maines, explained that Johnathan has maintained that he did not commit the crime, but that does not mean he does not feel sorry that it occurred.

“Our thoughts continue to be with you,” he said addressing the family members, adding that he hopes that they can be healed from their suffering.

Johnathan’s father and sister also spoke, asking the judge to show mercy.

Cherry commented that this was “one of the most senseless acts this court has seen in the 15 years I have been on the bench and as a district attorney for nine years.”

“This was over what? Drugs? A girl?” Cherry also said that Johnathan has shown no remorse.  “His family wants me to show mercy, but no mercy was shown toward the victim.”

Cherry then sentenced him to 20 to 40 years in state prison.

Johnathan also had a probation violation on a previous prohibited offensive weapon charge. After Shaw argued for a consecutive sentence for this, Cherry gave Johnathan an additional two to five years in prison.

Because Johnathan is maintaining his innocence, his attorney said he will be filing appeals challenging the evidence in this case.

In an interview Monday afternoon, Shaw said an appeal is expected in most cases and they will “deal with them as they come.”

Satisfied with Cherry giving Johnathan the maximum sentence, Shaw explained he argued for the violation sentence to be consecutive because he didn’t “think he should have been rewarded with a concurrent sentence when he is not taking responsibility or showing remorse.”

He referred to the investigation as a “difficult” one because the people involved were all using drugs, and he was pleased with Trooper Scott Sankey doing a “really nice job.”

Overall this case is a “worse case example of the dangers of drug use with two people’s lives needlessly ruined.”

For more information on the trial, click here.

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