Jury convicts Rockland man of murder

Arnold Diana, seated in wheelchair, and a Knox County Jail corrections officer await the arrival of the jury in Diana's murder trial in Rockland.
Arnold Diana, seated in wheelchair, and a Knox County Jail corrections officer await the arrival of the jury in Diana's murder trial in Rockland.
Posted July 26, 2012, at 2:11 p.m.
Last modified July 26, 2012, at 6:45 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 37-year-old Rockland man faces at least 25 years in prison after being convicted Thursday afternoon of murder in the death of a Friendship woman in November 2010.

A jury of seven men and five women deliberated in Knox County Superior Court for nearly four hours before returning a guilty verdict against Arnold Diana for the murder of Katrina Windred, a 48-year-old single mother.

Sentencing is expected to be held in October. A specific date has not been set.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa Marchese asked for the probation office to do a presentence investigation on Diana. The prosecutor said she wanted the report to gather more information on his background.

The minimum mandatory sentence for murder is 25 years in prison. The maximum sentence is life in prison. Marchese said she does not know yet what she will recommend for a sentence.

Defense attorney Christopher MacLean said he will reflect and talk with Diana before a decision is made on whether an appeal is warranted. He asked that the presentence report look at Diana’s medical and mental health history.

Marchese said in her closing arguments to jurors Thursday that the evidence was overwhelming that Diana killed Windred because he realized she had met another man. The prosecutor said there was not a single shred of evidence to indicate that Minniann Miller-Wigmore of Washington killed Windred, as the defense has claimed.

“It’s preposterous and ludicrous,” Marchese said about the defense claims. “Arnold Diana is either the unluckiest man alive or the guiltiest man alive.”

She noted that there were bloodstains found in Diana’s apartment which came from Windred. Her purse, glasses and cellphone were found stuffed in a cushion that was in a trash can at Diana’s apartment at the Thorndike apartments in Rockland, she pointed out to jurors.

And she said that there is no record of any call made to Windred’s phone at the time Diana claimed to investigators that she had received a phone call when she arrived at his apartment around 5:30 p.m. Nov. 20. Diana told investigators that Windred then decided to take a nap before she went out for the evening.

This story made no sense, Marchese argued, because she would not have left her son and dog in a car. She also had made plans with her new boyfriend to have pizza with him after she picked up her 11-year-old son and dropped off groceries to Diana.

MacLean argued, however, that Diana had no reason to kill Windred. He said the only person with a motive was Miller-Wigmore.

“Jealousy is a very powerful motivator,” MacLean told jurors during his hourlong closing argument.

He said Windred’s blood was found in Miller-Wigmore’s truck, the quilt used to wrap up Windred belonged to Miller-Wigmore, and pieces of a towel used to tie up the quilt were also the woman’s.

Miller-Wigmore was in the courtroom for closing arguments but was not present when the jury issued its verdict shortly after 4:30 p.m.

MacLean said if such a violent struggle occurred in Diana’s apartment, as the prosecution alleges, someone would have heard something.

The state’s chief medical examiner said Windred died of strangulation, had a broken bone in her neck, and suffered bruises, cuts and scrapes all over her body.

Marchese said, however, in her rebuttal at the end of closing arguments that this theory made no sense. She said no one saw Miller-Wigmore in Rockland and she would not have known that Windred would have been leaving Diana’s apartment to go out for the evening.

“Why would she frame Arnold Diana? She loved him,” Marchese said.

The jury got the case on the ninth day of the trial in Knox County Superior Court.

The jury was not presented a confession made by Diana to state police after Justice Jeffrey Hjelm ruled that the statements were inadmissible because the suspect had asked for questioning to stop and officers continued with their interrogation.

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