A Limington man’s attorney argued in front of the state’s highest court his murder conviction should be thrown out because of an illegal police search.
Bruce Akers, 62, was arrested in June 2016 in connection with the death of his neighbor, 55-year-old Douglas Flint, and was found guilty of murder by a jury in January 2020. He is serving 38 years in prison.
Akers’ attorney, Roy McNamara, told the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday police illegally entered the man’s property and forced him to give consent, according to the Portland Press Herald.
Akers used a machete to nearly decapitate Flint on June 9, 2016, and then hid his body under a pile of deer carcasses.
After Flint’s family reported him missing, police attempted several times to enter Akers’ property to speak with him about their investigation. Akers and Flint had an ongoing dispute over property boundaries at the time of Flint’s death and Akers suspected him of stealing a six-pack of alcohol.
In one instance, police removed a cover from a camper window to look inside, without verbal permission, McNamara argued Thursday.
But Assistant Attorney General Don Macomber told the high court that officers heard a noise in the camper while looking for Flint and were justified in removing the cover, because they thought it may have been Flint, the newspaper reported.
“The police conduct was wholly designed to try to find the missing person and not designed to search for incriminating evidence at the time,” Macomber told the justices.
Flint’s body wasn’t found until after police obtained a search warrant for Akers’ property.
There is no set timeline for the court to reach a decision.