Maine’s supreme court has rejected the appeal of a man who was sentenced to 65 years in prison for a brutal killing.

Reginald Dobbins Jr. contended the judge improperly excluded from jurors his friend’s guilty plea to killing the man. The court said Tuesday it was a “harmless” error in light of other evidence.

The court also rejected his argument that the sentence was unconstitutional.

Keith Suitter of Houlton was killed in 2015. Photo courtesy of Maine State Police

The victim, Keith Suitter, ran a painting business and lived alone in Houlton. Officials say the 61-year-old man was beaten and stabbed to death on March 1, 2015. Samuel Geary got a 40-year sentence in 2017.

Law enforcement described it as a drug-related killing.

A hammer believed to have been used in the killing was found in the home of Dobbins, who was 18 at the time.

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