AUGUSTA (AP) — Maine’s highest court has denied the appeal of a Massachusetts man convicted of killing the mother of his four children and one of his best friends.

Joel Hayden of New Bedford, Mass., said in his appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court that his murder convictions should be reduced to manslaughter because he was high on oxycodone and cocaine when he fatally shot Renee Sandora and Trevor Mills in New Gloucester in July 2011. The shootings were witnessed by Hayden and Sandora’s 7-year-old son.

The Portland Press Herald ( ) reported the court Tuesday rejected the argument that drugs made it impossible for Hayden to be in the necessary state of mind to commit murder.

Prosecutors say he talked about shooting the victims the day before and had practiced firing his handgun.

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