Trial and Error

The Outcry for Justice in the Dennis Dechaine Case

A College Friend

I first met Dennis in 1977 at Vermont Tech where we became fast friends. We used to trout fish all over central Vermont and hung out together on weekends. 

Dennis and I shoveled and spread cow manure for $2/hour for then 82-year old farmer Monsieur Langevin. One day in particular, we were walking up the side of the valley with our fishing rods and reels along a muddy tractor road alongside a field. I turned to say something to Dennis, and he wasn't there. I turned around and was surprised to see Dennis 40 yards back nearly flat on his stomach in a pushup position, drinking ground water from a bubbling spring in the middle of that muddy farm road. My mouth was still hanging open when he got to his feet, trotted to catch up with me, and flashed that Dennis smile.

To this day, that image remains with me like it was yesterday. We were both young and skinny then, Dennis the salt of the earth who'd give you the shirt off his back. I still remember his stories about Madawaska. 

Since 1988, I have been in shock at the injustice done to Dennis, which continues to this day. There is no way on God's green earth that Dennis, in any way shape or fashion, could have perpetrated this crime. I still expect one day for someone to right this injustice, identify the real guilty party, and free Dennis. 

David Jones

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