PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine has dropped a murder charge against a man whose conviction for killing a neighbor with a machete was overturned.
A jury found Bruce Akers guilty in January 2020 and he was sentenced to 38 years in state prison. But the Supreme Judicial Court ruled unanimously last year that Akers’ rights were violated by police and that a judge should have suppressed evidence and statements gathered by officers before they read Akers his Miranda rights, the Portland Press Herald reported Monday.
The state asked to dismiss the charge because the ruling had the effect of tainting other evidence obtained in a search warrant, the newspaper reported.
“Due to suppression of evidence rulings, the state lacks sufficient evidence to proceed to trial,” the state’s motion said. The paperwork was signed on Aug. 25.
Douglas Flint, 55, was reported missing before police searched Akers’ property in the town of Limington. Investigators later found his body hidden under a pile of rotting deer carcasses and debris.
The attorney general’s office expressed confidence in the evidence that produced the guilty verdict, said spokesperson Danna Hayes, but reiterated that the state doesn’t enough evidence to go to trial.
(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)