April 20, 2019

Court turns down murder appeal of junkyard owner

PORTLAND — A Limington junkyard owner who claims he gunned down a would-be robber in self defense lost his appeal of a murder conviction on Friday.

Roger Tanguay said he shot Harris Stockman Jr. on Oct. 9, 1988, because Stockman and another man got onto his property and attacked him with the apparent intent of stealing some stereo parts. The third man, John O’Connor, said that the three had planned to drink beer and “shoot the breeze,” but Tanguay ended up shooting Stockman in the head.

Tanguay’s appeal challenged the way in which statements from O’Connor were used at trial in York County Superior Court, but the supreme court justices turned that argument down.

Tanguay also attacked the prosecution’s use of hearsay testimony from other witnesses and said he should have been allowed to present evidence that would have indicated the victim had a reputation for violence. The court also rejected those arguments, saying Tanguay had shown no obvious error by the trial judge.

Tanguay is serving a 25-year prison sentence for the killing.

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