Maine judge won’t sentence killer

Posted Nov. 26, 2008, at 9:28 a.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 10:44 a.m.

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — The Superior Court judge who presided at the Skowhegan murder trial of Shannon Atwood is letting another judge determine his sentence.

Justice Nancy Mills found Atwood guilty this summer in the bludgeoning death of his 38-year-old girlfriend, Cheryl Murdoch. An earlier charge of killing his wife had been dismissed.

Since the verdict, Atwood’s lawyer claimed Mills’ verdict was tainted because the judge knew a woman Atwood had been convicted of assaulting years earlier.

In a filing this week, Mills says information raised “creates a circumstance in which the court’s impartiality might reasonably by questioned” and she recused herself from sentencing.

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