A man convicted of the 2004 murder of his mother-in-law in Farmingdale has lost another court appeal at the federal level.

David Newall Grant, 60, formerly of Augusta, had asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit to conclude that his right to remain silent was violated by police when they questioned him after he told them he didn’t want to talk.

A three-judge federal panel on Tuesday upheld earlier state and federal court rulings in the case.

Grant’s statements were introduced at his trial over objections from his attorney, Christopher MacLean. Those statements have been the subject of several hearings, and tape recordings of the police questioning — with Grant’s voice hoarsened by self-inflicted knife injuries —  have been played in court.

A U.S. District Court judge in September 2009 ruled against Grant’s claims that his “statements were obtained in violation of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination,” but allowed the ruling to be appealed on two questions, including one that asked “whether the Law Court erred in holding that Mr. Grant’s Miranda rights were scrupulously honored by police in accordance with” a 1975 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Michigan v. Mosley.

MacLean took those questions to the circuit court and oral arguments were held in April at the University of Maine School of Law, Portland. The written decision was published Tuesday.

“I’m disappointed, but I believe the fight is worth fighting,” MacLean said Thursday. “They’re not supposed to be able to return and question the suspect again on the same thing after he invoked the right to remain silent. David repeatedly said he did not want to be questioned; he invoked his rights.”

Grant is serving a 70-year prison term for the brutal slaying of Janet Hagerthy on Nov. 30, 2004. In imposing a sentence 10 years longer than prosecutors requested, Justice Nancy Mills called the killing “an example of extreme cruelty.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.