Bruce Akers, whose murder conviction was overturned by the state Supreme Judicial Court last September, must pay $200,000 in cash bail if he wants to wait for a new trial outside of jail.

Akers has been in state custody, held without bail, since he was arrested in 2016 and charged with murder in the death of his neighbor, Douglas Flint. He was found guilty and sentenced to serve 38 years in state prison, but Maine’s high court overturned his conviction in September, more than a year after his conviction.

Justices wrote that the York County Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant, allowing them to find Flint’s body on Akers’ property, only after first conducting an unconstitutional search without his permission. The court found that the judge overseeing Akers’ case should not have allowed any evidence resulting from that unconstitutional search to be considered in trial.

It was only the second time in 17 years that the state’s highest court has vacated a murder conviction.

Akers’ defense attorney, Kristine Hanly, said during a hearing Tuesday that her client has been incarcerated pre-conviction for nearly six years. She asked Superior Justice Wayne Douglas to allow her client to be released on personal recognizance, saying Akers would stay in an apartment in Limington where his brother lives and receive medical and mental health services from Veterans Affairs.

During Akers’ 2020 trial, expert witnesses described how Akers was experiencing severe mental illness at the time of Flint’s death. Douglas determined that Akers was incompetent to stand trial in 2018, but he found the following year that Akers had “regained competency.”


Assistant Attorney General Bud Ellis, who is prosecuting Akers on behalf of the state, asked Tuesday that Douglas impose a $200,000 bail requirement because of the “nature of the allegations” against Akers.

Douglas ultimately complied, saying the large bail amount was acceptable, given that the allegations against Akers are among the “most serious crimes that can be charged.”

“That alone, I think, warrants a substantial cash bail,” Douglas said.

The attorneys are scheduled to appear before Douglas again on June 7 for a hearing to consider what evidence will be allowed during trial.

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