PORTLAND — Uncertainty surrounded court proceedings Thursday morning in Cumberland County Superior Court where convicted murderer Dennis Dechaine was scheduled to appear for a hearing related to his bid for a new trial.
Deputy Attorney General William Stokes and Dechaine defense attorney Steven Peterson said Dechaine was not present at the courthouse because of a paperwork error.
“He has to be here,” said Stokes. “I’m trying to pull some strings to get the State Police to go get him.”
Peterson said he didn’t expect the hearing to begin until early afternoon — providing Dechaine could be brought from Maine State Prison in Warren to the courtroom in Portland.
Steven Peterson, Dechaine’s defense attorney, told the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday that he expected DNA analysis experts to speak on Dechaine’s behalf on Thursday followed by the state’s rebuttal on Friday. Peterson said he expected his part of the hearing to take two hours or less.
Dechaine, who is serving a life sentence in Maine State Prison for the 1988 murder of then 12-year-old Sarah Cherry, is hoping new DNA analysis in his case will be enough to convince a judge to grant him a new trial.