Dechaine indicted for prison drug charge

Jul 15, 2010

Rockland — Drug cases dominated a four-day session of the Knox County grand jury, which indicted 64 people on 175 charges.

One of the people indicted was Dennis J. Dechaine, 52, who has been at the Maine State Prison for more than 21 years for the brutal murder in 1988 of 12-year-old Sarah Cherry in Bowdoinham.

Dechaine was indicted this week for trafficking in prison contraband. The indictment alleges that Dechaine had morphine and or klonopine on April 5 at the prison.

This was the same day that Dechaine was rushed to a hospital. Prison authorities have not stated why he was hospitalized.

Dechaine has maintained his innocence in the murder of Cherry who was last seen alive babysitting at a Bowdoinham home. Attorneys for Dechaine are attempting to introduce DNA evidence to try to win a new trial.

Dechaine was convicted in Knox County Superior Court on March 18, 1989, for the July 1988 murder. The trial was moved to Knox County from Sagadahoc County because of intense pre-trial publicity. The Knox County jury deliberated for 11 hours before reaching its guilty verdict.

The grand jury completed its work on July 15. An indictment is a method to charge people and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are convicted in court.

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