The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will hear oral arguments Sept. 14 in the appeal of a former Nokomis Regional High School music teacher who was convicted last year of aggravated assault and domestic violence assault. Proceedings are set for 9 a.m. in the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta.

Andrew Maderios was found guilty in September 2015 on four of nine domestic violence charges, including two felony aggravated assault charges, in Somerset County Superior Court.

Maderios, 30, formerly of Pittsfield, was sentenced to 15 years with all but three years suspended and six years of probation, with the first two of those years to include electronic monitoring.

In his appeal on behalf of Maderios, Auburn defense attorney Leonard Sharon states that the trial judge was in error in excluding evidence of the prior conduct of the victim to show her motive, intent or plan in accusing Maderios of beating, kicking and strangling her. Sharon also challenges that the court was wrong to admit as evidence audio recordings and photographs presented by the state at trial and erred in not granting a mistrial on the basis of “improper comments” made by the prosecutor, District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.

Sharon and his co-counsels contend that Maloney stated her personal opinion about or “vouched for” the witness in an attempt to sway the jury.

Sharon said in court briefs that Maderios’ conviction should be vacated and remanded back to Superior Court for a new trial.

Maloney had asked for a 15-year sentence with all but six years suspended on Maderios’ conviction of two counts of felony aggravated assault and two counts of domestic violence assault. He was tried on nine charges, and the convictions were on charges related to attacks recorded by the victim, who was his live-in girlfriend at the time, on her cellphone.

A letter to the presiding judge from Stephen LaMarre, the victim’s former husband, said that the victim in the Maderios trial sent him threatening text messages once it was learned he might be called to testify in Maderios’ defense. LaMarre alleged that the woman had been physically violent with him in the past and injured herself “in an effort to set him up,” just as she had done to Maderios.

In her answer to the points of appeal, Maloney states that raising issues of the victim’s prior conduct with intimate partners would amount to a “trial within a trial” and that the court was correct to deny the motion for a new trial. Maloney said any evidence of what the victim may have done with or against other men is “not logically related” to the charges against Maderios.

Maloney also states in court documents that the court was not in error when it allowed the jury to listen to audio recordings and to see photographs that had been saved to a computer. The original cellphone recordings were no longer available and Sharon suggested the evidence was “secondary” in that the original recordings could have been doctored.

In the third point of appeal, Maloney said that her statements in closing arguments were not deliberate and did not affect the outcome of the trial.

Maloney cites previous cases, noting from one that the trial court should deny a motion for a mistrial “except in the rare case when the trial cannot proceed to a fair result and no remedy short of a new trial will satisfy the interests of justice.”

She said the trial judge refusing to admit evidence of prior conduct and assertions that the audio records were edited copies of original audio already were addressed and dismissed by Justice Robert Mullen, both in pretrial motions and in Sharon’s motion for a new trial.

She said the “level of discretion” given to a trial court judge is high and the supreme court takes that into consideration if addressing appeals.

Prosecutors said Maderios beat, kicked and strangled the victim over several months, from December 2013 to July 2014. The victim, whom the Morning Sentinel is not identifying because she is a victim of domestic violence, documented the attacks at the Pittsfield home the couple shared with audio recordings and still photographs, all on her iPhone, which became key evidence in the five-day trial.

“The fear of dying was overwhelming,” the victim told Justice Mullen at sentencing, her voice quivering on every word. She said she was sorry she “brought a monster” into her children’s lives.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

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