Maine Legal Group Logo
Main Office
Satellite Office
Consultations by Appointment Only

Convicted Murderer Dennis Dechaine Appeals to the Maine Law Court for a New Trial

In 1988, Dennis Dechaine was given a life sentence for the murder and rape of a 12 year-old child, Sarah Cherry. The evidence in the case was overwhelming and included confessions obtained from Mr. Dechaine, admitting that he committed the crimes. Mr. Dechaine even confessed to his attorney, who then told investigators where to find the young girl’s body.

Since 1988, Mr. Dechaine has brought multiple appeals to the Maine Law Court in an attempt to have his conviction overturned or for a new trial. Mr. Dechaine and his legal team recently argued their case to the Maine Law Court, stating that in light of DNA evidence, he should be given a new trial. It is highly likely, in fact, I would say, practically certain, that the Maine Law Court will deny this latest appeal.

In Maine, in order to obtain a new trial due to recently obtained DNA evidence, the Defendant bears the burden of demonstrating that the newly obtained DNA evidence could only have come from the person who committed the crime; to the exclusion of the Defendant. The DNA evidence must outweigh all the evidence previously admitted in trial. Otherwise, the Defendant is not entitled to a new trial.

In the current appeal, the Justices of the Maine Law Court appeared skeptical in their questioning of Dechaine’s attorney. Justice Mead commented that “your argument hangs on the thread that there was a struggle and somehow during the struggle the perpetrator’s DNA ended up underneath her fingernails.” Justice Mead went on to comment further, stating the following: “you think this is inconclusive evidence of stuff under the victim’s fingernail would have produced a different verdict“? It would appear that neither Justice Mead nor the other members of the Law Court believe that the newly acquired DNA evidence points to the perpetrator and/or that it would be enough to outweigh the overwhelming evidence of Dechaine’s guilt in the case.

While a Defendant in any criminal case has a right to appeal a judge’s ruling or verdict in a case, it appears that Mr. Dechaine has reached the end of proverbial road and may have exhausted his final avenue for appeal.


Contact our office to speak with
one of our team members who will set up a confidential consultation to discuss your case.


Great group of people. Managed to get me a favorable outcome from a very bad situation. I would highly recommend this firm if you have legal troubles. Top notch performance!!

Dave Allen

So thankful I chose this team to represent me. They’re the best, hands down. Nathan Hitchcock proved my innocence not once but TWICE, including a trial by jury. I have a family in law enforcement who told me “Bill Bly and his team are the best. If I would recommend anyone, it would be them.”

Brandon Albert





Ready to Get Started? Get In Touch With Us Today!

If you are facing criminal charges in Maine, the attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group are here to help. Call our office to speak with one of our team members, who will discuss your case with you and set up a consultation with one of our attorneys.

Get to Know Our Group
Maine Legal Group

We are a boutique law firm, and we stand out by prioritizing our clients’ well-being. At The Maine Legal Group, our experienced team offers personalized attention in both criminal defense and divorce cases.

The Maine Criminal Defense Group

The Maine Criminal Defense Group adeptly handles all areas of criminal defense practice, including experienced and skilled legal representation for state and federal charges.

The Maine Divorce Group

The Maine Divorce Group empowers individuals skillfully navigating divorce with compassionate guidance, ensuring a brighter future through the challenges of the process.