Mistrial for Maine man charged with murder

Posted Sept. 29, 2009, at 12:21 p.m.

ALFRED, Maine — A 51-year-old man charged with murder in the stabbing death of a friend in York, Maine, remains in jail after a jury failed to reach a verdict.

A mistrial was declared in the case of Richard Dalli after jurors handed the judge a note saying it was “hopelessly deadlocked” on Monday.

Dalli is charged with killing 39-year-old John Wheeler of Wells early on Sept. 2, 2008, after a night of partying at Dalli’s house. Wheeler’s girlfriend said Dalli was angry after Wheeler refused his sexual advances.

The Portland Press Herald quoted Dalli’s lawyer as saying he suffered from mental illness and drank so much that he couldn’t have made willful a decision to commit a murder. Police said the men had been friends for 10 years.

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