Lawmaker introduces bill that could give convicted murderer Dechaine a new trial

Posted March 20, 2011, at 12:47 p.m.
Dennis Dechaine
PAT WELLENBACH | AP
Dennis Dechaine

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Maine lawmaker is proposing a bill that could give Dennis Dechaine a shot at new trial in his bid to overturn his murder conviction nearly 22 years ago.

Rep. John Martin of Eagle Lake says the bill crafted on Dechaine’s behalf would require the state to consider DNA evidence collected after Dechaine was convicted of the 1988 murder of 12-year-old Sarah Cherry in Bowdoin. Dechaine, who is serving a life sentence, hasn’t wavered in maintaining his innocence.

Martin told Maine Public Broadcasting Network that if given the chance, his bill could resolve the Dechaine case once and for all.

Former Attorney General Janet Mills said the bill seems “problematic” because it’s aimed at one case in particular and appears to “step on the toes” of the courts.

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