New DNA sample taken in Dechaine murder case

Posted Sept. 25, 2012, at 6:59 a.m.

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.

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

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