BANGOR (AP) -A West Virginia man is going to prison for 40 years for manslaughter and kidnapping in the case of a marijuana partner who was chained to a tree and killed in 1989.

Patrick Alexandre, 46, received the maximum sentence on each count by Justice Joseph Jabar in Penobscot County Superior Court. The 40-year sentences will be served concurrently.

The family of the victim, Joseph Cloak Jr., expressed satisfaction with the outcome on Thursday.

“This is one person who thought he was going to outsmart the system, and he didn’t,” said Cloak’s sister, Linda Norris.

Detectives first met with Alexandre in November 2000 after he indicated he witnessed a murder and knew where a body was buried in hopes of shaving time off a sentence for a probation violation in West Virginia.

During the trial, Alexandre testified that he and Cloak, who was 27, were partners in a marijuana operation near Alexandre’s home.

Alexandre admitted helping to bury Cloak’s body in Bradford after discovering Cloak chained to a tree with his head wrapped in duct tape. But he said it was a friend from New Hampshire, Charles Emery, who had killed Cloak.

Emery, 53, of North Hampton, N.H., did not testify after telling the judge that he would invoke the Fifth Amendment against self incrimination.

Defense attorney Don Brown of Bangor urged the judge to sentence Alexandre to 20 years in prison followed by a term of probation. He said that Emery, not Alexandre, was responsible for Cloak’s death even though the New Hampshire man has not been charged in connection with the case.

Jabar rejected Brown’s argument.

“Charles Emery is not an alternative defendant to the exclusion of Patrick Alexandre,” the judge said Thursday.

“The person (responsible for Cloak’s death) is devoid of any humanity,” said the judge added. “Certainly Patrick Alexandre was a part of that.”

Alexandre was arrested on Nov. 22, 2000, at a weigh station on Interstate 95 in Old Town and held at the Penobscot County Jail on a warrant because of a probation violation in a drug case in West Virginia.

It was at the jail that he told guards he had witnessed a murder years earlier and knew where a body was buried.

Assistant Attorney General Fernand LaRochelle said after the sentencing Thursday that state police are continuing to investigate Emery’s possible connection to the slaying.

But Brown doubted that Emery would be arrested for the role he allegedly played in Cloak’s death.

“So far, the police haven’t laid a hand on Charlie Emery,” Brown said. “That is a serious miscarriage of justice.”

AP-ES-10-03-03 1009EDT



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