Man charged in Maine killing may change plea

Posted Oct. 05, 2009, at 12:19 p.m.
Roger Bernier. (The cold case investigation of a murder 22 years ago ended Friday, July 11, 2008, with the arrest in New Hampshire of Roger Bernier who is accused in the strangulation of a Portland woman. Bernier, was the last person known to have seen Mary Kelley alive before her body was found on April 26, 1986, in the bathtub of her Congress Street apartment, police said.) (AP Photo/Portland, (Maine) Police)
AP
Roger Bernier. (The cold case investigation of a murder 22 years ago ended Friday, July 11, 2008, with the arrest in New Hampshire of Roger Bernier who is accused in the strangulation of a Portland woman. Bernier, was the last person known to have seen Mary Kelley alive before her body was found on April 26, 1986, in the bathtub of her Congress Street apartment, police said.) (AP Photo/Portland, (Maine) Police)

PORTLAND, Maine — A New Hampshire man charged with killing a woman in 1985 in Portland, Maine, is considering changing his plea.

A plea hearing was scheduled for Monday for 61-year-old Roger Roy Bernier in Cumberland County Superior Court, but it was delayed until next week. Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea tells the Portland Press Herald that Bernier apparently wanted more time to think about it.

Bernier, who’s from Manchester, N.H., originally pleaded not guilty to strangling 33-year-old Mary Kelley, whose body was found in the bathtub of her Congress Street apartment.

Investigators say forensic evidence subjected to updated analysis methods and new information obtained from interviews led to Bernier’s arrest in the 22-year-old slaying.

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