AUBURN — A Mexico man who is seeking a new hearing to overturn a 45-month sentence said the Lewiston police officer who testified against him had a history of drug use and evidence-tampering that made him an unreliable witness and whose testimony lacked credibility.

Norman “Bo” Thompson appears in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn on Wednesday. His attorney, Paul Corey, is standing behind Thompson. Sun Journal/Christopher Williams

Norman “Bo” Thompson, 47, filed a motion in Androscoggin County Superior Court last week aimed at reversing the nearly four-year sentence a judge imposed on him in January. The sentence stemmed from suspended portions of sentences from earlier convictions in Oxford, Cumberland and Androscoggin counties for theft, burglary and forgery.

Nicholas Meserve, 34, a 10-year veteran of the Lewiston Police Department, testified at Thompson’s Jan. 31 probation revocation hearing. Meserve was one of the officers who pursued Thompson in a police car and foot chase on the night of Nov. 22, 2018, in Lewiston near the city’s high school. Meserve assisted in Thompson’s arrest on two felony charges and several misdemeanors related to the incident.

Those charges prompted Thompson’s probation revocation.

Roughly a week after Thompson’s hearing, Meserve died from acute fentanyl intoxicaton, according to Lewiston Police Chief Brian O’Malley.

Thompson’s attorney, Paul Corey, wrote in his recent motion that “Mr. Meserve was an addict who consumed illegal drugs daily for at least two years prior to his death,” quoting from a report shared with him by prosecutors. “There were occasions,” the report continues, “when Mr. Meserve stole drugs from other dealers with whom he interacted in his law enforcement capacity, some of which he consumed and some of which he provided to his own dealer to sell to others to finance his drug habit.”

Corey wrote that the conduct of Meserve involving opioid abuse and evidence-tampering was shared with Thompson after his client was sentenced in January based on Meserve’s testimony. That means Meserve’s drug-related behavior is new evidence that has arisen since Thompson’s sentencing and should entitle him to a new hearing on his probation revocation, Corey wrote.

“Officer Meserve’s conduct is material to the issue of the court’s finding that … Thompson violated the terms of his probation. Officer Meserve’s conduct makes his testimony in the matter per se unreliable and demonstrates a significant lack of credibility,” Corey wrote in the Aug. 27 motion.

He continued, “Had Officer Meserve’s daily heroin use, theft of drugs and drug trafficking conspiracy been known on Jan. 31, 2019, including his theft of fentanyl on Jan. 18, 2019, impeachment would have resulted in a different outcome.”

Corey had challenged prosecutors’ intention to use Meserve’s January testimony at Thompson’s trial on charges relating to the November car and foot chase in Lewiston that ended in his arrest by Meserve. Corey argued that Meserve’s credibility was questionable because of his drug history and he couldn’t be cross-examined in the new case because he is deceased.

Prosecutors later withdrew their intentions to use Meserve’s testimony at Thompson’s trial on charges relating to the traffic stop.

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