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Jury returns verdict for Clearfield County man accused of murder

Jurors wiped away tears and family members cried as the guilty verdict was read Thursday for 20-year-old Johnathan Maines, of Madera.

A Clearfield County jury found Maines guilty of third-degree murder, aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

During the trial, which lasted four days, testimony was heard from various people who were all residing or staying at a home on Main Street in Madera in March of last year.

Among those at the house the day of the murder were Maines and Joshua Sahm, 30, of Blandburg. Maines was accused of stabbing Sahm twice with two different knives on March 20.

Two witnesses at the home admitted they were all using methamphetamine and partying all night on the March 19th and into March 20th.

Ashley Storm, 25, said she was in the bathroom when she heard someone say “so you are going to kill me huh?”

She opened the door to find Sahm with a knife in his back and bleeding. Maines rushed her and another man, Keith Pinter, out of the home. This action was captured on a surveillance video from the nearby Moose lodge.

The testimony of Pinter, 37, Coalport, was similar and he admitted he left the scene because he had warrants for his arrest, but he did later contact police.

Maines also left and turned up hours later a half mile away. He was able to contact his sister, who picked him up.

During closing arguments Thursday, District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. pointed out that Maines was the only one who fled and did not get in touch with authorities.

Shaw told the jury that the motive in this case was jealousy because Storm, who was involved with Maines, had been flirting with Sahm.

Defense Attorney Joshua Maines in his closing asked the jury to consider that the witnesses were under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the incident and they even mentioned in their testimonies that it had impacted their recollection.

He pointed out that there was no DNA or fingerprints on the weapons, and noted that there was not only DNA from Johnathan Maines in the camouflage pants that had Sahm’s blood on them, but the DNA of a second person.

He also claimed that it was not Johnathan Maines in the surveillance video, relying on Maines’ sisters’ testimony that they did not recognize that man as their brother.

He suggested there was another person responsible for the murder and that Johnathan Maines was being framed by the others.

Johnathan Maines will be sentenced within 60 days.

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