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Maine Supreme Court denies Dechaine's bid for new trial in killing of 12-year-old girl


PORTLAND, Maine — Maine's highest court has denied a request for a new trial from a man convicted of killing of a 12-year-old girl more than 20 years ago.

In a decision released Tuesday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a lower court judge's conclusion that DNA evidence recovered from the victim's fingernail wouldn't have changed the trial's outcome in the case against Dennis Dechaine.

Dechaine is serving a life sentence for the murder and sexual assault of Sarah Cherry, who was abducted in Bowdoin. Her body was found two days after she disappeared in July 1988. The 57-year-old has maintained his innocence.

Dechaine's lawyer argued in May that DNA evidence is sufficient to require a new trial. But the prosecutor accused the defendant of "perpetrating a fraud" with his claims of innocence.

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