BANGOR (AP) – A West Virginia convict charged with kidnapping and murdering an Ellsworth man 14 years ago and then burying his body in a shallow grave in Bradford goes on trial Tuesday in Penobscot County Superior Court.

Patrick Alexandre, 46, admits that he helped bury the body of Joseph Cloak Jr., 27, according to court documents, but maintains that another man, Charles Emery, kidnapped and murdered Cloak in a dispute over marijuana.

Emery has not been charged in connection with the slaying.

Alexandre allegedly told police that he and Cloak had worked together growing and harvesting marijuana plants near the burial site. Emery was with Alexandre in mid-August 1989 to buy some marijuana and to guard the crop during the harvest, according to court documents.

Alexandre also told investigators that on the second day of the harvest, he arrived at the campsite to find that Emery had tied Cloak to a tree. Emery later choked Cloak and dropped a large rock onto his chest, killing him, Alexandre told police, according to court documents.

Alexandre was indicted in November 2001 while already serving time in a federal prison in West Virginia for violating conditions of his release from a marijuana cultivation conviction.

The former Maine resident had violated his West Virginia parole conditions and his probation was revoked. He was ordered back to prison, but convinced a federal judge to allow him time to finish up some business with the agreement that he would check himself into prison on a specific date.

Instead, Alexandre headed to Maine, where he was arrested on Nov. 22, 2000, at a weigh station on Interstate 95 in Old Town. Authorities in West Virginia believed he was headed to Canada.

At the time of his arrest in Old Town, Alexandre identified himself as someone else; however, a prescription bottle of Viagra had Alexandre’s name on it. Police found Alexandre’s identification in his van and, after running a check on him, learned he was wanted on a warrant issued on behalf of the U.S. Marshal’s Office out of Charleston, W.Va. Police records also showed Alexandre had a history of violence and escape.

While awaiting his return to West Virginia, Alexandre allegedly decided to try to make a deal with authorities in Maine. Just a week after he was arrested in Maine, Alexandre reportedly led authorities to the woodlot in Bradford, and there they unearthed Cloak’s body.

Cloak was identified through dental records, and the cause of death was listed as “undetermined” on the death certificate.

If convicted of murder, Alexandre likely would have to complete his federal prison sentence in West Virginia before beginning one in Maine.

AP-ES-07-07-03 0932EDT

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