Court Refuses to Reduce Murder Sentence
June 9, 2022
A Martinsburg man who already had his sentence reduced once for his role in the 2015 murder of a Roaring Spring woman was denied a chance for further reduction by the Pennsylvania State Superior Court.
James Hardwick was 15 years old when he and Deauntay Moye, who was 16 at the time, shot and killed 21-year-old Stephanie Waters in a Woodbury parking lot.
Moye and Hardwick had arranged to meet Waters’ boyfriend at the Woodbury Community Center to purchase marijuana, but Waters showed up instead. Moye shot Waters twice and Hardwick shot Waters’ dog.
Moye and Hardwick then took Waters’ car, with her body in the back seat, to Altoona before abandoning it in New Enterprise where it was found days later.
Hardwick pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in 2016 and was sentenced in Bedford County court to 60 years to life. However, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ordered Hardwick’s case back to the county court for resentencing, citing a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles under the age of 18, unless it can be proven they are unable to be rehabilitated, were unconstitutional.
Bedford County Judge Travis Livengood resentenced Hardwick to 40 years to life, a sentenced Hardwick claimed was still too stiff and amounted to a de facto life sentence.
The panel of superior court judges rejected Hardwick’s claim that Livengood abused his discretion in resentencing Hardwick, citing the seriousness of the crime and its impact on the community.
Moye was originally sentenced to life in prison but was brought back to Bedford County last year and resentenced to 50 years to life.
Hardwick, now 22, is serving his sentence at the State Correctional institute at Marienville, while Moye, now 24, is incarcerated at the State Correctional Institute at Albion, Erie County.