Alternate suspects explored at Anthony Sanborn hearing

Sanborn hearing continues Oct 18

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Testimony in the Anthony Sanborn hearing Wednesday focused on other possible suspects in the murder of Jessica Briggs.

Sanborn was convicted of murdering Briggs in 1992 but was released on bail in April after a state’s key witness recanted her testimony.

Sanborn’s attorney on Wednesday questioned the lead investigator in Briggs’s case as to why several other persons of interest weren’t looked at more closely.

Sanborn’s attorney focused on several people who were seen with or near Briggs the night she was murdered, as well as one man who told police he witnessed the murder.

Retired Portland Detective James Daniels was asked about questioning a man named Karl Gee about the Briggs’ murder. Gee told Daniels he spoke with a man named David who told him he witnessed a man named Butch kill Briggs.

According to Daniels report, this is what David told Gee.

“Dave said that Butch cut her throat and beat her in the head with something. He said he couldn't see it that well, then he said after he beat her head in, he threw her in the water," Daniels testified while reading the report.

The report was turned over to Sanborn’s defense team before his trial, but Sanborn’s attorney says investigators never turned over the identities of David and Butch, even though they learned who they were.

Sanborn attorney Amy Fairfield asked Daniels "Do you remember seeing a typed report about anyone named David Collins?"

Daniels responded, "Not sure, I don't believe so, I don't know."

The defense is trying to show investigators withheld evidence and focused solely on Sanborn early on for the Briggs murder. Daniels testified that’s not the case.

"It wasn't just Tony Sanborn. We looked at a bunch of people. A lot of young men at that time in 1989 had that hairstyle and that build etc. and we were looking at people who were maybe identified as being with her that night," Daniels said.

The defense brought up two other possible suspects. One was a man on a motorcycle who gave Jessica Briggs a ride home from work the night she murdered and another man, who a bus driver reported seeing walking near Briggs towards the pier that night. Neither men were positively identified.

Attorneys for the state have not yet had an opportunity to question Daniels. They may get that opportunity Thursday.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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