PORTLAND, Maine ( NEWS CENTER) — There were repeated arguments between lawyers Monday, as the Anthony Sanborn hearing began its second week.
Sanborn was convicted of murdering Jessica Briggs in Portland in 1989 and served 25 years of his sentence. But in April of this year, he was released on bail after lawyers said some evidence had been withheld from the defense. Now Sanborn is in court to determine if charges will be dropped, if he gets a new trial or returns to prison.
In court Monday, for the second day, Sanborn’s attorney Amy Fairfield questioned retired Portland police detective Daniel Young. She asked Young to go through notes and other records of the case, including some that had been stored away in the lead detective’s house for many years and were brought out for the defense only after Sanborn was released.
Police and the prosecutor have said nothing was withheld from the defense at the time if the trial, and have said the conviction should stand.
But defense attorney Fairfield said that box of records included a telephone answering machine tape from another man, which Young said was given to police before the trial. Fairfield said the defense never had access to that tape during the trial. And she claimed that man had been Jessica Briggs’ pimp, and could be an alternate suspect.
"I understand the state doesn’t want it heard," Fairfield said, "but its evidence Mr. Sanborn should have been able to avail himself of three decades ago It was hidden. And it was suppressed and was never turned over."
She wanted the tape played in court but it was not, because prosecutor Meg Elam said they need to first prove its authenticity, and that the man who gave the tape to police is nowhere around.
Fairfield claimed that man is in Utah, but also said she will look for another way to bring in the tape. The hearing is expected to go on for at least two more weeks.
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