Lead detective in Briggs' murder spends day on stand in Sanborn hearing

Anthony Sanborn hearing continues

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

Sanborn is the first convicted murderer in Maine to be released on bail. He was convicted in 1992 of the Briggs’ murder, but was released on bail in April when the state’s key witness recanted her testimony.

Sanborn’s attorney is trying to show investigators withheld evidence and tried to build their case so it would implicate Sanborn. Today they focused on hand written notes taken by the lead detective, notes that never made it into official reports.

Retired Portland Detective James Daniels was questioned about another possible suspect mentioned by Hope Cady, the witness who implicated Anthony Sanborn, but later recanted her story. The defense says Cady left phone messages for Daniels regarding a suspect in the Brigg’s murder. Daniels said when he met with her she said a man named Dusty had taken her into a basement and cut her arm with a razor. Daniels testified he took written notes about it, but never put that in his report.

“It wasn't made part of the case. It was part of my notes that were available for anyone to look at but I didn't write a report and turn it in as something discoverable”, he said.

Because of that, the information was never given to Sanborn’s attorneys before his trial.

“The fact that she thought somebody else was the murderer other than Tony Sanborn, you don’t think that’s relevant?", asked Sanborn's attorney Amy Fairfield.

"I didn’t have any information to that effect”, said Daniels.

Daniels testified when he met with Cady she never mentioned the Briggs case and Dusty being a possible suspect. He thought it was separate incident that Cady wanted to talk about and wasn’t relevant to the Briggs’ investigation.

“Looking back as your coaching it now, perhaps that could have been, but it didn’t occur to me that that was connected to that”, he said.

The handwritten notes were only recently discovered in boxes stored inside Daniels' home. He testified he took them home when he retired and cleared out his office.

The state did not have an opportunity to cross examine Daniels today. He’s expected back on the stand tomorrow, followed by the other main detective in the Briggs' case, Danny Young.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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