Man seeks reduced sentence to have kids, help father
Stephen Duguay knods hello to his family, including his father Douglas Duguay, who spoke on his behalf at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord during a sentence hearing on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. Duguay, sentenced in 1996 to 37 to 74 years for attempting to kill two Concord High seniors, sought a sentence reduction.
(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
Stephen Duguay listens to prosecutor Wayne Coull make his case against reducing Duguay's sentence for attempted murder at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord during a sentence hearing on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. Duguay was sentenced in 1996 to 37 to 74 years for attempting to kill two Concord High seniors.
(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
A Pembroke man serving 37 to 74 years for attempting to kill two Concord High School students in 1994 and then thwarting their ability to seek help asked a judge to reduce his sentence yesterday so he can care for his disabled father, get married and have children.
“My father has made it clear to me that he wants more grandchildren before he’s too old to enjoy them,” Stephen Duguay told Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Larry Smukler yesterday.
Duguay, 39, has served about 19 years of his sentence. He represented himself in court.
Smukler did not immediately rule on the request yesterday. Duguay’s victims and the Merrimack County Attorney’s office oppose a sentence reduction.
“These were sentences that were long,” said prosecutor Wayne Coull. “They were intended to be long. They were intended to be significant sentences.”
Duguay and Jay Laudarowicz, then 16, had been camping and drinking in the woods off Garvins Falls Road in June 1994 when one of them – the police never determined which one – fired a .22-caliber rifle at a car that pulled off the road near them.
Two Concord High students, Justin Mann, 19, and Kimberly Waterfield, 16, were in the car. The bullet hit Mann in the face, shattering his jaw and severing his carotid artery. Waterfield was hit in the face with shards of glass.
As the victims ran for help, Duguay and Laudarowicz searched the car for items to steal and then attempted to set it on fire, according to court records. In court yesterday, their families also said Duguay tossed the car’s keys into the woods so Mann and Waterfield could not drive away for help.
Both Duguay and Laudarowicz were convicted of two counts of being accomplices to attempted murder, and single counts of attempted arson and attempting to destroy evidence. They both received two sentences of 15 to 30 years each and orders to serve them back to back, not at the same time.
Duguay recevived an additional seven years on his minimum sentences.
Laudarowicz, 17 when he began serving his sentences, persuaded a judge to reduce his sentences, first in 2007 and then again in 2011. The judge found that Laudarowicz had matured, improved himself in prison and developed compassion toward others, including his victims. He is serving his sentence at a Manchester halfway house and is eligible for parole.
Laudarowicz sought parole in September 2011 but was denied, according to staff at the parole office.
Duguay is still 10 years away from meeting his minimum parole date. In asking for early release yesterday, Duguay said he was “young and impressionable” when he committed his crimes. He did not ask for a specific release date.
“Regardless of whether I am forgiven, I will spend the remainder of my life trying to atone for my past acts,” he told Smukler. If released, Duguay said he plans to find a job and develop a career as a fiction writer.
In protesting Duguay’s request, the victims and their families said in a written statement that Duguay has failed to take responsibility for his crimes. Coull also noted that Mann’s injuries were severe and long-lasting; Mann has a patch on his carotid artery that could give out, killing him, Coull said.
Duguay said he, too, worries about Mann’s artery because “should it ever rupture, I’ll be back in this room facing murder charges.”
Duguay’s father, Douglas Duguay, also urged Smukler to consider releasing his son early. Douglas Duguay said he needs help maintaining his home and reiterated his interest in having more grandchildren.
“I have lost my son,” Douglas Duguay said. “It’s probably the most severe loss a father can have.”
(Annmarie Timmins can be reached at 369-3323 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @annmarietimmins.)