I would like to know how attorneys Clifford Strike and Sarah Churchill can sleep at night!

They are filing an appeal on behalf of their client, convicted murderer Joel Hayden (“Maine Supreme Court to hear appeal in New Gloucester double murder,” Jan. 13).

It states that Hayden “was under the influence of a high dose of oxycodone and cocaine on the day of the shooting” of Renee Sandora and Trevor Mills, leading to doubts whether he could have the necessary state of mind for a murder conviction, and therefore, should have been convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

So, put in other words, if you are high enough on illegal drugs, have illegal possession of a gun, seek out the mother of your four young children and your childhood friend and shoot them to death at point-blank range in front of your 7-year-old son, apparently you aren’t acting intentionally or knowingly.

On the day before the murders, Hayden, who was described as insanely jealous, had told a drug customer, who he was illegally selling drugs to, that “he was ‘going to kill that bitch and get his boy, too.’ ” Really? But he wasn’t acting intentionally or knowingly?

And to top it all off, I would stake my life on the fact that the attorneys for Hayden are state-appointed, and the taxpayers are footing the bill for this absurd appeal.


I wonder how attorneys Strike and Churchill would feel if it were their daughter or son who was murdered by Hayden under these circumstances. Maybe they wouldn’t mind at all if their grandson witnessed his mother being shot to death by his father.

And think of all those other high, drug-dealing, gun-toting, “model citizens” out there who aren’t held responsible for their actions waiting for the outcome of this appeal. Maybe they can get a reduced sentence, too. What a wonderful world it will be.

Ruthanne Fisher


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