Gamache seeks post-conviction review on manslaughter plea

AUBURN — A former Auburn man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection to the death of his ex-girlfriend's baby is hoping to shorten his stay in prison.

Todd Gamache, 25, is serving a 14-year sentence at Maine State Prison. Four of the 18 years in his sentence were suspended by a judge in Androscoggin County Superior Court last year.

Gamache filed a petition alleging he received ineffective legal assistance by his court-appointed attorney, David Van Dyke, who practices law in Lewiston.

In his petition, Gamache wrote that Van Dyke "failed to file a motion to challenge the state's evidence, to deem admissible or inadmissible for trial." Gamache said those failures led him to agree to a plea bargain and not take his case to trial.

Gamache also wrote that Van Dyke failed to provide effective legal assistance during sentencing. He said he was seeking a hearing to lessen the time of his incarceration. He asked for a court-appointed lawyer to represent him in his effort to get a post-conviction review of his case.

A grand jury indicted Gamache on a count of murder in the March 2007 death of 8-month-old Emmy Leigh Cole. Gamache pleaded guilty to manslaughter last year. The murder count was dismissed.

At his February 2008 plea hearing, a judge asked Gamache whether he understood his right to maintain his innocence and take his case to trial. Gamache said he did. The judge asked whether Gamache believed waiving his right to trial was the best thing to do at the time. Gamache said he did.

Gamache first tried to plead "no contest," but changed his manslaughter plea to "guilty" after a quick conference among the attorneys and the judge.

Prosecutors outlined their case against Gamache during the plea hearing. They said they would have offered testimony from day care workers who would have said they noticed bruising on the baby's toes and fingertips and urged the mother to take her baby to a doctor.

Witnesses would have testified that Gamache picked up the baby from her mother to take her back to her Auburn home where Gamache also lived. When the baby's mother arrived home with one of her daughters, Gamache told her to call 911 because there was something wrong with the baby.

Prosecutors would have presented witnesses who would say Gamache's account of what happened during the roughly 45 minutes he was alone with the baby changed as he retold his story.

A conference with the judge and attorneys is scheduled for Sept. 23.


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 's picture

I cant believe he has the

I cant believe he has the audacity to even try this. He agreed to take whatever sentencing he got from the judge when it was dropped from murder to manslaughter...this murderer is disgusting. For what he did the sentence was not strict enough. The devastation and pain this man has caused to so many in this community is unbelievable, and he thinks he should not be there....btw this murderer is not sitting in Warren State Prison...he is sitting in the Windham Country Club......Someday Todd you will get what you deserve.....and that day cant come soon enough for me and all those that love and miss Emmy.....

 's picture

I bet thats what got his

I bet thats what got his mind a rollin on that one.

 's picture

I can't even believe this

I can't even believe this man has the balls to say he didn't get a fair trial. I sat there while he claimed this was a horrible accident. He said he did it. Yes, he pulled that stunt of no contest plea. Then I heard Gamache say guilty. HE already took a plea. GAME OVER! Thats what I say. He should have gotten a murder charge instead. HE GOT OFF EASY! Now a family has to go through more pain. This is not fair to the family of Emmy Lee Cole! Emmy doesn't get a second chance, why should he!

Keep a murderer in Prison. Make him do the little time he got for such a evil crime. This whole issue should just be thrown out of court!

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p.s. he's not at the maine

p.s. he's not at the maine state prison, they moved him to Windham.

 's picture

Nice try, you are a not

Nice try, you are a not going to get this. Over my daughter's dead body. You selfish, selfish "man" who still can't tell truth to what you did to my daughter. Thank goodness the evidence prevailed and not your lies, her bruises, her swelled brain, her lungs filled with her own vomit! What you did to her in 30 minutes caused me and my family, so much pain. She was pepere's angel, her sisters best friend, her memere's life, my reason for happiness, her aunties little pal, and sooo much more. Because of her death, 83 little cheerleaders were devistated, they miss thier mascott, my children are scarred for life (seeing their sister lifeless) me and my parents have endless heartwrenching pain. You will not win, nothing will change what you did to her. This will not knock us down again, we are fiercely strong and have over come great obsticles to make sure her name lives on forever. And I quote from one of her aunties " I hope when you close your eyes at night her bright blue eyes shine through and haunt you forever".


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