December 26, 2012

Maine judge denies new trial for Sabattus killer

The Associated Press

AUBURN — A judge has denied a bid for a new trial by a Sabattus man sentenced to 55 years in prison for killing his ex-girlfriend.

Daniel Roberts petitioned Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler for a new trial or to send the case back to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for a second look.

The Sun Journal reports that the 43-year-old Roberts' lawyer in his appeal said among other things that he had received ineffective representation at his trial, and claimed that some members of the public had been barred from his trial. Wheeler rejected those arguments.

Roberts was convicted of the August 2005 shooting of 29-year-old Melissa Mendoza. The couple was involved in a custody dispute over their then 2-year-old daughter.

Roberts said the shooting was self-defense.

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