June 18, 2019
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State’s top court orders new trial for man convicted of resisting arrest, assault

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Chief Justice Leigh Saufley (right) and Justice Donald Alexander of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court listen to arguments in this BDN file photo.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s supreme court says jurors who convicted a man of resisting arrest and assault should have been allowed to see cellphone video taken by the defendant’s sister.

A police officer arrested Abdiaziz Hussein, of Lewiston, after he allegedly refused to sign a criminal summons, tried to run and punched the officer. The video showed Hussein with a pen in his hand, signaling a possible willingness to sign, while pinned on the floor.

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In a 6-1 decision, the Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday ordered a new trial, saying the judge made a mistake in declining to allow the video to be shown to jurors.

Dissenting Justice Donald Alexander said the trial judge didn’t err and that if he did then it was a “harmless” error.

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