Legislators reject bill aimed at convicted killer Dennis Dechaine

Dennis Dechaine (left) walks out of a meeting with attorneys at the Maine State Prison in Warren in 2009.  Dechaine met with famed defense attorney F. Lee Bailey (right) who agreed to be a consultant on his petition for a new trial.
Dennis Dechaine (left) walks out of a meeting with attorneys at the Maine State Prison in Warren in 2009. Dechaine met with famed defense attorney F. Lee Bailey (right) who agreed to be a consultant on his petition for a new trial.
Posted May 13, 2011, at 5:43 p.m.
Last modified May 13, 2011, at 6:05 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Maine legislative committee has rejected a bill that could have given convicted killer Dennis Dechaine a shot at a new trial.

Judiciary Committee members voted unanimously Friday to reject the bill, which would have allowed the consideration of DNA evidence collected after Dechaine’s conviction in the 1988 murder of 12-year-old Sarah Cherry in Bowdoin.

Dechaine, who’s serving a life sentence, says he’s innocent.

According to Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Rep. Paul Waterhouse of Bridgton said the bill was problematic and that he considered it “trial by Legislature.”

The committee’s vote followed emotional testimony earlier this week from Sara Cherry’s family and an appeal from Maine’s attorney general not to pass the bill.

 

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