Lead detective in Briggs murder questioned for second full day at Sanborn hearing

Anthony Sanborn hearing 10/12/17

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The lead investigators in the Jessica Briggs’ murder case spent another full day on the witness stand in the Anthony Sanborn hearing.

Sanborn is fighting to keep his freedom after being released from prison on bail in April. He was convicted in 1992 of the Briggs’ murder.

Today Sanborn’s attorney focused on witnesses in Sanborn’s original trial, including Hope Cady. She was the state’s key witness who testified she saw Sanborn stab Briggs down along the Portland waterfront, but later recanted her story saying she lied after being pressured by police.

Retired Portland Detective James Daniels was again questioned for hours by Sanborn’s attorney Amy Fairfield about an investigation he headed up nearly 30-years ago.

She questioned him about notes he took on witness Scott Knoll. Knoll said he was with Hope Cady and some other friends the night Jessica Briggs was killed, but they were not down near the waterfront.

“If Mr. Knoll and Miss Cady are sitting on the wall at Peppermint Park together at 1 AM on the morning that Jessica Briggs was killed, Miss Cady can't be down at the waterfront, if what Mr. Knoll is saying is true?", asked Fairfield.

"If all that is true, yes and if Knoll's accurate, yes”, Daniels responded.

Cady originally testified she has hiding down near the Maine State Pier when she witnessed Sanborn kill Briggs. In April she said detectives threatened her and coerced her into saying that. Sanborn’s attorneys claim investigators coerced other witnesses as well, including David Schwarz. In pre-hearing filings Sanborn’s attorneys say he was threatened during multiple interviews with police and brutalized by them. Daniels denied that when questioned by Fairfield.    

“Did you witness anyone else assault him?" asked Fairfield.

"No", Daniels responded.

"Throughout this interview, these interviews, was anybody coerced, or telling him what to do, yourself or any of the other investigators who were present?", Fairfield asked.

"No, not at all”, Daniels responded.

The state has not had the opportunity yet to cross examine Daniels. The defense has slowly pushed it’s case questioning Daniels for two full days. When the defense finishes with him, then the state will have its chance.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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