Trial and Error

The Outcry for Justice in the Dennis Dechaine Case

Hearing delayed on Dechaine’s bid for new trial

Oct 21, 2010

Talks between the state and defense on DNA testing mean the motion likely won’t be heard until next year.

A hearing, tentatively scheduled for this fall, to determine whether Dennis Dechaine will get a new trial has been pushed back until at least December, and is more likely to be held next year.

Dechaine, 52, is serving a life sentence for the kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Sarah Cherry in 1988 in the Sagadahoc County town of Bowdoin.

Through four unsuccessful appeals at the state and federal levels, Dechaine has maintained that he is innocent. A large group of vocal supporters continues to lobby state officials and legislators on his behalf.

Dechaine’s latest motion for a new trial was filed in August 2008, but the sides have been bogged down for much of the past year in discussions about how to do additional DNA testing on some of the evidence, which is now more than 20 years old.

“There have been some delays, but now we’re seeing progress,” said Steve Peterson of Rockport, Dechaine’s lead attorney.

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By Trevor Maxwell 
Staff Writer

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