State supreme court upholds Bangor man’s attempted murder conviction

David Archer is escorted back to Penobscot County Jail after his appearance in April 2008 in 3rd District Court in Bangor.
John Clarke Russ | BDN File Photo
David Archer is escorted back to Penobscot County Jail after his appearance in April 2008 in 3rd District Court in Bangor.
Posted July 14, 2011, at 1:27 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday unanimously upheld a Bangor man’s conviction for attempted murder.

Justices heard oral arguments in the appeal of David Archer, 36, on June 15 when the court convened for three days at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

Archer was sentenced last summer to 18 years in prison with all but 13 years suspended after a jury found him guilty in January 2010 of trying to kill his ex-girlfriend in April 2008.

In his appeal, Archer’s attorney, Verne E. Paradie Jr. of Auburn, who did not represent the defendant at trial, argued that the testimony of Archer’s mother should not have been admitted because the statement was not made to the victim or anyone related to her.

Archer’s mother testified that her son, about six hours before the stabbing, said he would kill his ex-girlfriend when he saw her with her new boyfriend.

The state’s high court rejected Paradie’s argument in a 12-page decision written by Justice Donald Alexander.

“Here the threats against the victim and display of a knife occurred mere hours prior to the attack,” he wrote. “The trial court acted well within its discretion when it permitted Archer’s mother to testify concerning both the threats and the knife play. Because the state was required to prove intent as an element of the crimes, evidence of Archer’s state of mind before his attack on the victim was both relevant and probative.”

Paradie also argued that medical evidence to prove the severity of the victim’s injuries should not have been admitted and that all of Archer’s calls to his mother from jail should have been played for the jury to put the calls that were played in context.

The court also rejected those arguments.

Susan Pope, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, argued before justices in June that Justice William Anderson, who presided over the trial, properly admitted all the evidence.

In what might have been a signal about how the court would rule, just one justice asked Pope a question during oral arguments and not all the time set aside for the case was needed.

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