New trial sought for Dechaine in Maine

Posted Aug. 27, 2008, at 11:25 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 28, 2011, at 12:18 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A lawyer for convicted child murderer Dennis Dechaine is asking for a new trial so he can introduce new DNA evidence.

Dechaine is serving a life sentence for the 1988 murder and rape of 12-year-old Sarah Cherry, who was abducted while babysitting in her hometown of Bowdoin. Dechaine supporters say he was wrongly convicted.

Attorney Steve Peterson says he’ll ask the court for a new trial based upon DNA testing that was done and any new testing the court would be asked to authorize. He is expected to file papers in court Thursday.

A new post-conviction statute in Maine allows prisoners who want to introduce DNA evidence that they think could exonerate them to do so by the beginning of next week.