PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine man serving a life sentence for the 1988 kidnapping and murder of a 12-year-old girl is seeking a new trial based on DNA evidence.

Testimony continued Wednesday in the case of Dennis Dechaine, who has maintained his innocence in the death of Sarah Cherry of Bowdoin.

Dechaine’s hearing in Cumberland County Superior Court began Tuesday.

His attorney is arguing that the DNA evidence that now exists would have been enough to change jurors’ minds at Dechaine’s 1989 trial had the evidence been available then.

Deputy Attorney General Bill Stokes told Justice Carl Bradford on Tuesday that the evidence against Dechaine is overwhelming and that the DNA from Sarah Cherry’s fingernail clippings is inconclusive.

The hearing is Dechaine’s fifth attempt to get a new trial.


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