Charleston inmate petitions court for post-conviction review

Posted March 08, 2011, at 7:48 p.m.
Last modified March 09, 2011, at 11:22 a.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A Garland man serving time for convictions involving a tense encounter with an Embden woman in Elliotsville Township in 2008 while he was on probation has petitioned the court for a post-conviction review.

Mark Meech, 42, who was convicted of criminal threatening, reckless conduct and violation of probation and is serving a four-year prison term at the Charleston Correctional Facility, claims he is being held unlawfully. His petition to the court alleges that the state’s key witness was not credible, that there was jury tampering, and that he had ineffective counsel for the case. He is asking that the charges be dropped, that he be released from prison, and that he be compensated for wrongful incarceration.

The review will be heard March 21 in Piscataquis County Superior Court in Dover-Foxcroft.

Meech was convicted in 2008 of reckless conduct and criminal threatening after he encountered a 48-year-old woman on a popular hiking trail at Borestone Mountain and later attempted to commandeer her vehicle.

At the time of the encounter with the solo hiker, Meech was on probation for a 2002 conviction on four counts of burglary and one count each of cruelty to animals and operating a motor vehicle after revocation. In that case, Meech and another man burglarized four homes, and at one of the homes, he shot and killed a dog and seriously wounded another dog. For his guilty plea on those earlier counts, Meech was sentenced to eight years in prison with all but four years suspended, and he was placed on probation for four years.

Both the victim accosted in Elliotsville Township, who said she feared she would have been raped had she not been able to get away from Meech, and the dogs’ owner spoke during Meech’s 2008 sentencing.

Because Meech reoffended while on probation, Justice William Anderson revoked his probation in 2008 and ordered Meech back to prison to serve the four years that had been suspended on the burglary charges. He also sentenced Meech to 364 days each for the reckless conduct and criminal threatening charges, to be served concurrently with the four years. He also ordered restitution of $1,800 for the damage done to the hiker’s vehicle.

In support of his effort to have the 2008 charges dropped, Meech alleges that the hiker changed her statement three times prior to the trial. He also claims that the owner of the dogs was seen talking to one of the jurors during a lunch break during the trial and Meech told his attorney about it, but the attorney did not raise the issue until his sentencing.

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