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Lawyers at Odds over New DNA Evidence in Dechaine Case
10/12/2012 02:08 PM ET  

Maine Deputy Attorney General Bill Stokes says the report he has from a Texas lab does not exclude Dennis Dechaine as a contributor to DNA found on the scarf used to strangle 12-year-old Sarah Cherry in 1988.

Deputy Attorney General Bill Stokes is challenging a defense attorney's position about a possible breakthrough in the 24-year-old murder conviction of Dennis Dechaine. 

This week Dechaine's defense attorney said DNA testing on a scarf used to strangle 12-year-old Sarah Cherry in 1988 excluded his client.  But Deputy Attorney General Bill Stokes says the report he has from a Texas lab does not exclude Dechaine as a contributor to the scarf used in the crime.  

Stokes declined to talk on tape but he says the report finds DNA from at least two unknown males.  A DNA analyst hired by Dechaine's defense attorney says he's seen test results that show an alternate suspect in the crime cannot be excluded as a contributor to the scarf.  But Stokes says he has no knowledge of that development. 

Defense attorney Steve Peterson says the lab's conclusion in the report is inconsistent with its own testing.  As for the alternate suspect, he says the lab is expected to share those results with the attorney general's office.  Both sides are hoping to set up a meeting with a judge who is considering Dechaine's motion for a new trial. 

This story was reported by Susan Sharon.

Editor's note:  This story has been updated to include a response from defense attorney Steve Peterson.


 

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