Judge Hears Closing Arguments In Joyce McLain Murder Trial

Feb 5, 2018

The fate of an East Millinocket man charged in a murder that took place 37 years ago now lies with a Superior Court judge after closing arguments in the jury-waived trial were heard Monday at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

Representing Philip Scott Fournier, Bangor attorney Jeffrey Silverstein said the state had failed to produce the forensic evidence necessary to prove his client had killed 16-year-old Joyce McLain of East Millinocket in 1980.

“I think this case resolves very little if anything,” he said. “Whether he’s convicted or not, there still remains great doubt. The state police has not revealed all of the evidence. The whole story has not been told. And doubts will linger about this case regardless of what happens.”

Silverstein said Fournier sustained a traumatic brain injury in a truck crash the day after McLain was killed and that his statements were unreliable.

“Our expert, the doctor, a neuropsychologist, said you can’t unravel the statements of brain-injured people and figure out what part is right and what part came from where,” he said.

State prosecutors said Fournier’s confession to his parents and a local pastor prove he committed the crime.

Justice Ann Murray said she would issue a verdict in the case “in due course.”