Conviction upheld in 2005 baseball bat murders

The Associated Press
Posted July 05, 2011, at 3:09 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of an Auburn man in the 2005 baseball bat killings of two men whose bodies were found in shallow graves in Lewiston.

In a unanimous decision, supreme court justices rejected Gary Gauthier Jr.’s claim that he received ineffective legal representation at his 2006 murder trial.

Gauthier and Tommy Dyer were convicted of murdering James Vining and John Graffam, whose bodies were found by deer hunters in October 2005 near abandoned railroad tracks in Lewiston. Gauthier was sentenced to 60 years in prison, while Dyer received a 47-year sentence.

In his appeal, Gauthier argued that his lawyer made a tactical mistake in choosing not to rest his case after the prosecutor rested the state’s case. But in their ruling, the justices said Gauthier failed to show there was a “reasonable probability” that the jury wouldn’t have found him guilty based on the evidence presented by prosecutors.

Investigators had linked the defendants to the victims through DNA and blood that was found on clothing, a baseball bat, beer cans and cigarette butts.

Police said there was bad blood stemming from a confrontation Dyer and Gauthier had with Graffam in the Androscoggin County Jail.

Gauthier and Dyer were tried together, with Dyer testifying that Gauthier was the instigator.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/07/05/news/lewiston-auburn/conviction-upheld-in-2005-baseball-bat-murders/ printed on November 26, 2014