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Courts and Crime

Maine's Highest Court Overturns Murder Conviction

Maine's highest court has taken the unusual step of overturning a Limington man's 2020 murder conviction. The unanimous ruling found that a York County trial court erred when it failed to suppress evidence and statements that were obtained in violation of Bruce Akers' constitutional rights.

Akers was convicted of the 2016 murder of his neighbor, Douglas Flint, who was reported missing by his family. After learning that the two men had a long-running feud, police conducted a late night search of Akers' property, woke him up and got him to confirm that Flint was dead.

Based, in part, on statements Akers made, police later got a search warrant and discovered Flint's body, along with a machete, on Akers' property.

Before trial, Akers argued that the physical evidence and statements he made were illegally obtained and should be suppressed. A York County trial court disagreed. Akers appealed. Now, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that the conduct of the officers, absent a warrant. was not reasonable and the lower court was in error. Akers' conviction has been vacated and sent back for a new trial.