August 24, 2019
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Why a federal judge in Maine gave widely different sentences to two stalkers

Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
The Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building

A Texas man was sentenced Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Bangor to 10 months in prison for threatening his ex-girlfriend over the phone.

In addition to prison time, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock sentenced Shea Ryan Estes, 41, of McKinney, Texas, to three years of supervised released.

Less than two weeks ago, Woodcock sentenced a defendant for a similar crime to five years, the maximum allowed.

Estes pleaded guilty in April to one count of interstate threatening after being arrested in Texas in February.

By pleading guilty, Estes admitted that on July 3, 2017, he made two phone calls to a woman in Maine. He left messages threatening to “hunt” her down, that she would be “next” and that she would “suffer,” according to the prosecution version of events to which he pleaded guilty.

Estes also threatened his ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend, members of her family and “anyone that gets in my [expletive] way,” according to court documents.

Under the federal sentencing guidelines, Estes faced between eight and 14 months in federal prison.

Donald Cain, 49, of Henderson, Nevada, pleaded guilty in January to one count of stalking his ex-wife, a Houlton resident.

Under the federal sentencing guidelines, Cain faced between 30 and 37 months in federal prison.

The difference between the two cases is that Cain sent what Woodcock described as “threats to kill his ex-wife’s mother, hundreds of telephone calls and text messages, threats to kill his ex-wife and her new boyfriend, threats to send videotapes of [her] having consensual sex to members of [her] family, threats to rape [her] daughter, all in vile and violent language” over a 13-month period.

Estes, who also faces a five-year maximum sentence, sent two messages in one day.

Cain’s attorney, Hunter Tzovarras of Bangor, has appealed his sentence to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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