BELFAST, Maine— A Searsport man with a history of violent behavior has been sentenced to nine years in prison for assaulting two Waldo County deputy sheriffs last year.
Allen Leroy Moody, 47, was sentenced in Waldo County Superior Court on Thursday. A jury had found him guilty of two counts of assault on an officer during a trial in January. Justice Jeffrey Hjelm had delayed sentencing pending a review of Moody’s extensive criminal background.
Assault on an officer is normally a Class C crime, but because of Moody’s violent criminal history, the charge was elevated to a Class B felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. The District Attorney’s Office had asked for the maximum. Justice Hjelm gave Moody nine years.
“He has a very long history of violent conduct, including another assault on an officer, and he truly deserved the sentence the judge imposed,” District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said Friday.
Rushlau said the laws had been changed in recent years to give judges the authority to hand down longer sentences in instances of violent behavior. He said those changes allowed Justice Hjelm to elevate the crime to a Class B and impose a severe sentence.
“I suspect that this may be the longest sentence for an assault on an officer in the state of Maine, except for aggravated assault and attempted murder,” he said.
The assault occurred in Monroe at 12:30 a.m. on July 22. Waldo County Sgt. James Porter and deputy James Greeley had gone to the residence to serve Moody with an arrest warrant that had been issued two months earlier.
The officers had learned Moody was in possession of a stolen firearm and had told friends he would shoot any officer who tried to arrest him. When the deputies arrived in Monroe that night, Moody attempted to evade them by hiding on the floor in the back of his daughter’s minivan.
When the deputies detected Moody, Porter ordered him out of the van at gunpoint. Moody got off the floor of the van, stepped out the door and lunged at Porter’s drawn weapon. Upon seeing that, Greeley tackled Moody and the two began wrestling in the driveway.
During the struggle, Moody grabbed Greeley’s holstered sidearm and attempted to wrest it from its holster. Moody punched Greeley in the head with his fist and attempted to club both officers with a microphone from a police radio. Moody managed to strike Porter in the leg with the radio before the officers were able to take it from him and throw it to the side. The officers eventually used pepper spray to subdue Moody.
As a result of the fight, Greeley suffered cuts and scrapes to both his hands, an abrasion to his head, a bleeding cut to his right thigh near the bottom of his holster and several strained muscles. Greeley also sustained an injury to his shoulder, which has never been the same since the incident. Porter received abrasions to both elbows and knees and had a bloody spot on his left arm when Moody dug him with his fingernails.
Moody’s January trial lasted two days and the Waldo County Superior Court jury deliberated for approximately three hours before finding him guilty of both charges.
According to a memorandum filed with the court, Moody has a criminal record stretching back to 1978, when he was 18 years old. The record includes a number of assaults, criminal threatening, burglaries, trespassing, thefts and driving offenses. He was sentenced to three years in prison for punching Waldo County Deputy Sheriff Jason Bosco in the eye in 2002.
Moody’s “record and criminal history demonstrates a total lack of concern for the criminal laws of the state of Maine and are aggravated factors for this court to consider,” the memo stated. “The entire history points out that the defendant refuses to conform to society’s laws. The defendant’s prior record is also filled with crimes involving either disrespect or total disregard for law enforcement officers in general.”