I read Judge John Benoit’s recent Another View, “‘Amen’ to call for end to Dechaine saga,” and while I understand that he’s tired of seeing people defend a possibly innocent man, I have some other thoughts.

Dennis Dechaine’s legal appeals don’t change the case. The facts are still what they are, and that is why I think he deserves a new trial. Something has always been odd about this case, and many people agree with me.

“Ample evidence” is an interesting phrase. At the time of the trial, prosecutors called it “overwhelming.” I guess it’s not as good as it was then. And DNA testing was denied at the original trial and the state destroyed evidence from the case before an appeal. So “evidence” only means what’s left after that.

What I find really interesting is the complete lack of any direct evidence of the victim (blood, hair, etc.) on Dechaine, or vice-versa. And, there was no evidence, not even one hair, in Dechaine’s truck from the victim, either. Considering the crime, how is that even possible?

Hidden or missing keys mean little when you realize that the truck could be locked without a key, so we definitely do not know the “truck was locked at all material times.” If the truck had been left unlocked, anyone could have taken things from the truck and locked it afterwards.

Someone else certainly could have done this easily without planning.


Overall, with testing denied, field notes altered, evidence destroyed and alternate suspects not pursued, it seems pretty obvious that Dechaine was determined to be guilty before the trial. That bothers me, and it should bother anyone who cares about justice.

And as far as Hamlet goes, we know that’s just fiction.

Steve Sandau


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