A Washington County woman facing trial on a murder charge has been granted access to her phone, which police confiscated last year, and which she said contains “crucial” evidence that will support her innocence.

Superior Justice Robert Murray ruled Wednesday that an IT expert for Kailie Brackett can access her cellphone at the state crime lab. The state hasn’t been able to investigate the phone because Brackett has refused to give them her password – her attorneys say that’s her constitutional right.

Brackett, 39, and Donnell Dana, 40, of Perry, were charged with murder in April 2022 in the death of Kimberly Neptune, 43, in Pleasant Point. Both are scheduled for trial in December.

Dana lived with Neptune for a couple of years before 2021 and shared a child with Brackett.

Brackett told police she dropped off her son at Dana’s mother’s house the night of the crime, according to a police affidavit. Her attorneys say Brackett was at home and cellphone data will prove she wasn’t at the scene of the killing.

Neptune’s brother found her body at her apartment on April 21, 2022, wrapped in a blanket and covered in blood, according to an affidavit by Maine State Police Detective Lawrence Anderson. The state medical examiner later said she had been stabbed or cut more than 480 times and ruled Neptune’s death a homicide.


Anderson’s affidavit says both Brackett and Dana confessed to killing Neptune. Brackett allegedly told a woman at the post office that she had stabbed Neptune “five times” and that she “went for Kim’s main organs,” the affidavit states. Dana allegedly told three people that she killed Neptune, including the woman police said Brackett confessed to at the post office.

Other witnesses in the affidavit say Brackett told people at the Perry Farmers Union store that Neptune had stolen from her and she was “going to pay.” One woman told police she had known Brackett “her whole life” said was “100 percent sure” she saw Brackett in a surveillance video from Neptune’s neighbors that showed someone dressed all in black leaving the apartment around the time Neptune was killed.

One man shared a collage of photos with detectives, featuring still shots from the surveillance video and pictures Brackett had posted of herself on Facebook wearing what appeared to be the same black face mask.


Before Murray’s order Wednesday, Brackett’s attorney, David Bate, said prosecutors were “essentially holding the phone for ransom in order to extract evidence from her.”

Bate asked the state in July if the IT expert could visit the lab and access the phone to make a mirror image of its contents. The state declined and offered to make Brackett a mirror image themselves – in exchange for Brackett’s password. To surrender her password would be to “sacrifice her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in order to access her own property that likely contains exonerating, alibi evidence and that the State cannot use in its case,” Bate wrote in court filings.


The cellphone dispute comes a little more than three months before Brackett and Dana are scheduled for trial on Dec. 5. Murray suggested Wednesday that now would be the time to schedule a settlement conference.

Bate told Murray he wanted to consult with Brackett first, but it could be a waste of time if the state isn’t willing to reduce the charges.

Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber told Murray he plans to call on a forensic podiatrist as an expert witness for the state if the case does proceed to trial. State police wrote in the affidavit that they found bloody footprints leading to Neptune’s stairs the night they found her body.

In June, Murray ordered Dana and Brackett to send the state footprints and photographs – of the defendants’ feet and their full bodies, standing and sitting, from different sides and angles, both wearing socks and barefoot – so an expert could study them. 

Brackett’s attorneys have also asked the state for various pieces of evidence, including findings from a $10,000 reward the Passamaquoddy Tribe offered for information about Neptune’s murder. Bate wanted the names of anyone who advertised the reward and administered it, as well as the identities of anyone who applied for the reward or received it. He wrote that the information was relevant because it could “obviously affect a State witness’s credibility.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.