murder trial

NY Man Wants Conviction Tossed Over Pandemic-Delayed Trial

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What to Know

  • A New York man, Carine Reeves, is seeking to have a murder conviction overturned due to delays in his trial
  • Reeves is contending that his trial should have been held within 120 days of his extradition from New York to Maine, where the murder took place
  • The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will hear arguments next week

A New York man convicted of killing a woman in Maine wants the state supreme court to toss his murder conviction because his trial was delayed during the pandemic.

Carine Reeves, 41, contends his trial should have been held within 120 days of his extradition from New York to Maine, the Bangor Daily News reported. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will hear arguments next week.

Reeves, who’s serving a 48-year sentence, was convicted Oct. 5, 2020, in the first homicide trial to be held before a jury in Maine since court proceedings were curtailed by the global pandemic.

Before his trial, Reeves, who is Black, objected to wearing a mask and claimed it would be prejudicial. The judge ultimately ordered everyone in the courtroom to wear masks over the objection of his attorney, who said the mask could subject Reeves to racial profiling and stereotyping by jurors who associate masks with criminals.

In the new court action, Reeves contends an interstate agreement required his trial to be held within 120 days. The trial was set for May 2020 but was delayed because of the pandemic.

Attorney Rory McNamara, who is handling Reeves’ appeal, contends the judge had no legal authority to delay the trial.

But Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber contends the trial still happened within the 120-day timeframe when accounting for the period during which no jury trials were held in Maine.

Prosecutors contended Reeves was in Maine selling drugs when he killed Sally Shaw, 55, of New Gloucester, in July 2017. Her body was found by a passing motorist in Cherryfield.

Reeves maintained his innocence and said he was not present when Shaw was killed.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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