May 22, 2018
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New DNA sample taken in Dechaine murder case

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
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.
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine — Additional testing on clothing belonging to a 12-year-old Maine girl who was murdered in 1988 has revealed male DNA, but it’s too early to say what the evidence means.

The DNA has not yet been compared with other samples, including DNA from Dennis Dechaine, the man serving a life sentence after being convicted of killing Sarah Cherry of Bowdoin.

The new evidence is part of Dechaine’s lengthy appeals process to win a new trial. He maintains he did not kill the girl.

His lawyer told The Portland Press Herald that he hopes the new DNA evidence can prove that the now 54-year-old Dechaine did not kill Sarah. But he acknowledges it could backfire.

Prosecutors say it is unclear what the new DNA evidence means at this point.

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