Dennis Dechaine jury selection begins Friday

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted June 05, 2012, at 7:24 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Dennis Dechaine will return to the Knox County Courthouse on Friday to watch the selection of jurors who will decide whether he was in possession of illegal drugs while serving a life sentence at the Maine State Prison.

Dechaine, 54, is charged with trafficking in prison contraband. The indictment alleges that the convicted murderer was in possession of the painkiller morphine and/or the anti-anxiety drug Klonopin on April 5, 2010.

The crime is a Class C offense punishable by up to five years in prison.

After he consumed the drugs, Dechaine was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland to be treated for a drop in blood pressure and a high heart rate. He remained hospitalized for more than two weeks before being returned to prison.

Dechaine is serving a life sentence for the kidnap and murder of 12-year-old Sarah Cherry in Bowdoin in 1988. His trial was held in the same courtroom that he will be in Friday. The murder case was moved to Knox County because of the extensive pretrial publicity that the crime received in Sagadahoc County.

Dechaine, who maintains his innocence in the murder, also has a pending motion for a new trial based on DNA evidence that the defense claims could be from a third person other than Cherry or Dechaine.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/06/05/news/midcoast/dennis-dechaine-jury-selection-begins-friday/ printed on November 1, 2014