William R. Stokes, Criminal Division Chief

William R. Stokes graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Boston in 1973 and received his law degree, with honors, from Suffolk University Law School in 1976, where he served as Lead Articles Editor of the Law Review. He served as law clerk to Justice James P. Archibald of the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine from 1976-1977. In 1977, he joined the Maine Attorney General’s Office in the Criminal Division. In 1983, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney before returning to the Attorney General’s Office and being assigned to the General Government and Opinions Division. Mr. Stokes returned to the Criminal Division in 1992 to prosecute homicides full-time. In 2001, he was appointed Chief of the Criminal Division. He has personally tried over 100 homicide trials in the State of Maine, and has supervised hundreds more in his role as Division Chief. Among his major cases was the conviction of Robert Ardolino for the depraved indifference murder of his 9 year old son in 1993; the conviction of Sally Schofield of manslaughter for duct-taping her foster child with over 42 feet of tape; the conviction and life sentence of Albert Cochran for the rape and murder of Janet Baxter in 1976, a case that was unsolved for 23 years; and the recent conviction and life sentence of Thomas Mitchell Jr., for the murder of Judy Flagg in her home in Fayette in 1983, a case that had been unsolved for more than two decades. He has appeared and argued numerous cases before the Maine Law Court, the United States District Court and the First Circuit Court of Appeals.