State's attorney explores why investigators focused on Sanborn in Briggs murder

Sanborn hearing day 11

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – The state’s attorney in the Anthony Sanborn hearing pieced together interviews and evidence gathered in the Jessica Briggs murder that led investigators to Sanborn.

The defense claims police focused on Sanborn early on and did not look closely at other possible suspects. The state on Tuesday had its first opportunity to question the lead investigator in the Briggs murder investigation.

“I think it’s appropriate for the respondent in defending against that claim for the primary detective to discuss what he knew”, said Assistant Attorney General Paul Rucha to Justice Joyce Wheeler.

Former Portland Detective James Daniels was questioned for much of the day about interviews he conducted with people who implicated Anthony Sanborn in the Briggs murder. In one interview an acquaintance of Sanborn’s, Crystal Breen, said Gloria Staples told her that Sanborn killed Briggs. Briggs was living with Staples at the time of her murder.

“Miss Staples told her that Tony Sanborn killed Jessica Briggs?" Rucha asked Daniels.

Daniels responded, "Yes, she asked her to sit down, or suggested that she sit down before she tell her, then she told her that.”

In another interview one of Sanborn’s roommates told Daniels that Sanborn and a third roommate said they "took someone out" and it wasn’t hard.

“Then he said Tony had a funny expression on his face and said no it ain’t, that’s right. And those are in quotes, is that correct?" asked Rucha.

Daniels replied "That’s correct.”

Daniels also testified Sanborn was brought in for a lie detector test and afterward he could not be ruled out as a suspect.

“What was Mr. Sanborn told?" Rucha asked.

"He was told he was not being truthful according to the examine”, said Daniels.

The hearing started off with Daniels being questioned about reports, notes, and evidence from the Sanborn case being stored at his home. He testified previously in the hearing he brought the boxes home during a rush to clear out his office when he retired. Today he said he didn’t realize the official investigative reports were in those boxes.

“When I saw those original reports I felt horrible, I said this is embarrassing. I don’t even know how it happened, but I said I have to turn them in", he testified.

Daniels was asked several questions about whether he intentionally failed to turn information over to the defense as required or if he omitted information from reports that were turned over. He firmly responded no to each of them.

Pam Ames, the attorney who prosecuted Sanborn in 1992 for the Briggs murder, is expected to take the stand when Daniels concludes his testimony Wednesday.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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