Convicted murder challenging ruling before Maine Supreme Court

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A cold-case killer is trying one last time to challenge his 2012 conviction.

A jury found Jay Mercier guilty of Rita Saint Peter's murder in 1980. But he claims they made a mistake.

Jay Mercier is now trying one last time to challenge that 2012 conviction. Mercier's new lawyer, his third one so far, is scheduled for a telephone pretrial conference Monday.

According to Central, it's part of a last resort challenge of his conviction. Mercier was found guilty of the 1980 murder of Rita Saint Peter. He was sentenced to 70 years. Which can translate to life in prison for a man in his 60's.

The 20 year old woman's body was found beaten, sexually assaulted and run over by a truck off campground road in the town of Anson in 1980.

But it wasn't until 2011 that police were able to match DNA on a cigarette found at the scene with DNA taken from the victim's body.

Mercier says there were flaws in the way evidence was presented, and that his court appointed lawyer didn't give him enough help appealing his case. That appeal was overturned twice.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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