NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – For the first time in more than 25 years, a southern Indiana rape victim faced her attacker as the convicted man asked for freedom.
James Stone, 50, told Floyd County Circuit Court Judge Terrence Cody he had rehabilitated himself in an Indiana state prison and should not have to serve the remaining 22 years of his sentence. Cody delayed a decision until at least September 13.
In the same courtroom in 1986, a jury found Stone guilty of raping and attempting to murder Angie Reardon, now 49, after meeting her at a southern Indiana nightclub.
"I'm scared he may come after me, for thinking it's my fault that he's in there," Reardon said. "He's the one who did it."
Reardon and Dave Graves, a former Indiana State Police trooper who was one of the first to investigate the case, both told the judge that they opposed an early release.
Graves testified that Stone raped Reardon multiple times after leaving a nightclub in August 1985, then drove along Interstate 64 to Crawford County and stabbed her twice in the back, puncturing both lungs. Reardon had lost consciousness along the highway by the time help arrived.
Graves said that, while in the hospital, Reardon picked Stone out of a photo lineup. Stone wasn't the primary suspect and police put him in at random, Graves said.
More recently, MSNBC's "Lockup" featured Stone for starting a program in prison that allows inmates to adopt cats. He has also started landscaping and gardening programs in prison, he told the judge.
In court Wednesday, Stone at times looked around the courtroom and at Reardon, and said that he couldn't change the past. While he said he had no "hard feelings" toward his accuser, he didn't apologize to her in court.
"It's hard for someone to be remorseful when they feel they've been wrongly convicted," said Perry McCall, Stone's attorney.
Stone maintains his innocence and has filed appeals over the years, attempting to gain his freedom, McCall said.
Cody gave McCall until Sept. 13 to file a rebuttal to Floyd County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Steve Owen's claim that the judge couldn't change Stone's sentence now.
Stone should serve his entire sentence because of the "hell" he put Reardon through in 1985, Owen said.
To see the case history, click here.