PORTLAND — An Auburn man found guilty at trial of attempting to kill his girlfriend with a gun appealed his conviction to the state’s highest court.

Germaine Page Androscoggin County Jail

The attorney for Germaine Page, 44, argued Tuesday before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court why he should be given a new trial.

James Howaniec told the court that prosecutors were late in providing evidence that was favorable to the defendant.

“We found, for the first time on the eve of trial, highly exculpatory evidence that would have been very beneficial to the defense in cross-examination of what we thought was not a very credible victim,” Howaniec said.

He said he wanted only that exculpable evidence to be available to present at trial and not all of the late discovery that would include evidence that might be beneficial to prosecutors.

The trial judge had ruled that if any of the late evidence was allowed at trial, it should all be allowed.


Howaniec characterized the defense’s position as: “I wanted my cake and I wanted to eat it too.”

He said the judge should have allowed only the exculpatory evidence at trial because it had been solely the fault of prosecutors that the evidence was shared with the defense late in the process.

“So, you get to paint an incorrect picture for the jury. You get to have a false scenario … because of the state’s late discovery?” Justice Andrew Mead asked.

“That’s not my fault, your honor,” Howaniec said.

“It’s not a matter or fault, it’s a matter of justice,” Justice Joseph Jabar said.

“What I’m asking you to tell me is why we should say that a judge has to do what you’re asking,” Chief Justice Valerie Stanfill said.


Howaniec said the judge had the discretion to fashion a decision favorable to the defense, but, “effectively, he was granting us no relief” in the ruling he handed down.

Jabar noted that the judge had been willing to continue the case to allow the defense more time to review the late discovery.

But Howaniec said he had back-to-back trials in a packed schedule made worse by the pandemic.

Deputy District Attorney Katherine Bozeman told the high court that Howaniec’s argument failed because “he cannot show that the trial court’s wholesale exclusion of all late discovery, provided still months in advance of trial, was an abuse of (the judge’s) discretion.”

That evidence shared late with the defense included “a wealth of angry and incriminating statements by the defendant” that were “inconsistent” with what Page had told police, she said.

Prosecutors weren’t able to use any of that evidence at trial, which would have bolstered their case against Page, she said. The only sanction that would have been more detrimental to prosecutors would have been outright dismissal of the charges against Page, she said.


Justice Rick Lawrence noted that the trial judge had found there had been “a pervasive tendency within the region for discovery to be produced on a late basis in a number of serious cases and I’m wondering why that, perhaps, doesn’t in and of itself, connote some type of bad faith upon the part of the prosecutors’ office.”

Bozeman pointed to the fact that the prosecution relied on law enforcement to provide them discovery and that as prosecutors had conceded, this evidence fell through the cracks in that process.

“Clearly, under the rules, it’s ultimately the responsibility of the District Attorney’s Office, correct?” Chief Justice Stanfill asked, suggesting Bozeman’s office had the responsibility to train police officers to submit evidence in a timely fashion.

Howaniec also raised as an issue before the justices Tuesday the appearance of racial inequity in the jury pools made available for jury selection in trials in Androscoggin County Superior Court.

He said the racial makeup of the residents called for jury duty did not constitute a fair cross-section of the community, which has experienced an influx of Somali immigrants over the past decade. Yet, he said, the lack of racial diversity in the jury pools remains largely the same as it did 10 years ago.

“Is there a problem?” with the jury pools in Androscoggin County, Stanfill asked Bozeman.


“I don’t think we know the answer to that,” Bozeman said. “There is a process to determine if we have a problem.”

She said hearings should be held to explore the issue.

The court did not immediately rule on Page’s appeal.

Page was sentenced in September to serve 13 years of a 23-year sentence on the charge of attempted murder.

Howaniec had said his client, a bricklayer has a “very low IQ” and questioned how much of the legal process Page had understood.

Howaniec had argued at trial that Page had been suicidal, not homicidal, when he was alone with the victim in their apartment living room on June 17, 2021, after she had returned from out of state where she had met with another man.


At his sentencing, Page apologized for “what I did,” but insisted he has “never tried to kill anybody in my whole life.”

Bozeman said that had Page actually sought to kill himself, he would have done that, but instead he fired his gun directly at the victim.

She noted Page refused to take responsibility for what he did, even after he was convicted.

According to police reports, Page had acquired a handgun a week prior to the attack on the victim.

At trial, prosecutors said Page had told neighbors, shortly before the victim’s return, that he was going to “smoke that bitch” and then kill himself.

Police were called by neighbors to the Ninth Street area on the night of the shooting for a report of a domestic disturbance. The victim told police that when she returned home that night, Page had accused her of cheating on him and had thrown her to the living room floor and stepped on her chest to hold her down.


He appeared to be trying to load his gun and was telling her she was going to “die tonight.”

Page pointed the gun directly at her head and pulled the trigger, but it didn’t fire, prosecutors said.

The woman was able to kick him and get to her feet, trying to reach the apartment door, but was blocked. He struck her and she fell to the floor. He then kicked her twice in the face, according to a police affidavit.

Page then pointed the gun toward her head and pulled the trigger. The gun fired a bullet that missed her, went through the couch and lodged in the wall, according to trial testimony.

The victim fled to the rear of the apartment and managed to escape through a window.

A police detective found a broken fingernail in the living room where the struggle apparently happened and located a spent shell casing for a .380-caliber gun on the living room floor under a dog’s bed, according to a police report. He found what appeared to be a bullet hole in the living room wall behind the couch and noticed torn fabric on the couch that appeared to have been damaged from a bullet striking it before hitting the wall.

Page also was convicted of five lesser charges, including domestic threatening with a dangerous weapon and domestic reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon.

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