Bid to overturn murder conviction denied

By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 04, 2010, at 7:04 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A Superior Court Justice denied a convicted murderer’s petition to overturn his conviction earlier this week.

Douglas A. Dyer of Friendship was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2006 for killing his lover, Allison Small.

Dyer attended his post-conviction review from prison by videoconference on Jan. 29 and said that his attorney Steven Peterson had not defended him well enough.

On Feb. 2, Knox County Superior Court Justice Andrew Horton wrote that Dyer had “failed to meet his burden to prove ineffective assistance of counsel that operated to deprive him of a substantial ground of defense or otherwise affected the outcome of the trial.”

Dyer claimed Peterson could have better represented him if Peterson had hired an independent ballistics and crime reconstruction expert. Dyer also said Peterson did not get an independent autopsy, which could have helped his case, and that Peterson did not cross-examine the medical examiner thoroughly.

Dyer also claimed Peterson did not explore expert evidence regarding the antidepressant medication Dyer was on at the time of the crime. Dyer’s last claim was that Peterson did not argue sufficiently.

In 2006, Dyer was having an affair with Small, who owned the business where Dyer worked. Small told Dyer in January 2005 that she was ending their relationship. Dyer asked Small to see him, and the 30-year-old woman agreed to meet him at her and her husband’s Rockland business office. When Dyer arrived, he shot the woman with his rifle several times, including twice in the back as she ran from him. Small died at the scene.

According to Dyer’s current attorney, Jeffrey Toothaker, Dyer’s current claims were part of “his bid to get a new trial.” His client appealed the sentence in 2007, and his appeal was denied.

“He was convicted, and he didn’t like that result,” Toothaker said in a phone interview.

Toothaker said his client has been assigned “several attorneys” in the past few years.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/02/04/news/bid-to-overturn-murder-conviction-denied/ printed on July 25, 2014