Man resentenced to 40 years to life for murder of woman

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BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The second of two Bedford County men convicted as teenagers for the murder of Stephanie Waters in 2015 has been resentenced to 40 years to life in prison.

Ryan Hardwick was 15 when he and Deauntay Moye, who was then 16 years old, murdered Waters and shot her dog in January 2015 in Woodbury Township.

On Friday, Bedford County President Judge Tavis Livengood sentenced Hardwick a second time and Hardwick’s attorney, Mark Zearfaus, said his client will be appealing the sentence and the $25,000 fine that came with it. Zearfaus pointed out the minimum sentence under law for the crime, which Hardick pleaded guilty to in 2016, is 35 years.

The pair’s original life sentences were vacated due to federal and state supreme court rulings that life without parole sentences should be only for “The rarest of juvenile offenders whose crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility, irreparable corruption and irretrievable depravity.” Moye was resentenced in November 2020 and got 50 years to life.

Moye shot Waters, whose boyfriend had sent her to sell them a bag of marijuana, and it was Hardwick who shot the 21-year-old woman’s dog after she picked the pair up in her vehicle and then parked. Hardwick’s original resentencing hearing was in October 2019 and his sentencing was planned for March 2020.

The pandemic delayed proceedings and while victim impact statements were given and an expert witness testified at the 2019 hearing, the judge did allow victim impact statements again on Friday, Zearfaus noted.

The defense attorney said he will be filing a post-sentence motion to reconsider the sentence within 10 days and if that is denied, the appeal process starts.

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