A judge in Portland said she would not dismiss the case for post-conviction review filed by murder defendant Anthony H. Sanborn Jr., but will likely require Sanborn’s attorneys to give prosecutors more specific information about their allegations of wrongdoing during the investigation and murder trial that put him behind bars for nearly 30 years.

Justice Joyce Wheeler heard three hours of arguments Friday before declining to announce a decision from the bench, instead choosing to issue a written ruling in the next few days.

The hearing was the first time in months that attorneys for Sanborn, 45, and the state faced each other in open court since Sanborn was released on bail from Maine State Prison in April.

In requesting that the case be dismissed, Assistant Attorney General Meg Elam argued that Sanborn’s attorney, Amy Fairfield, has failed to meet procedural requirements set out in Maine’s post-conviction law, and that Sanborn’s attempt to clear his name is too late – that he and his attorneys should have discovered the information and filed their claims sooner.

Sanborn was charged in the 1989 killing of Jessica L. Briggs. Both she and Sanborn were 16 at the time of the her death, and had dated briefly for several weeks. Sanborn was charged with murder in 1990, and was convicted two years later. A judge sentenced him to serve 70 years in Maine State Prison. He has maintained his innocence since his arrest.

Elam also argued that Fairfield’s descriptions in court records of alleged wrongdoing by police and prosecutors is too vague, and that the state, in responding to the accusations, should not have to guess at key details.

“I know that everyone thinks their case is special or different,” Elam said. “And I can say this case is certainly different than any case I’ve experienced in 30 years of practicing law. But the respondent (the state) has the right to know what is alleged.”

Fairfield was appointed as Sanborn’s attorney in 2016 and filed a petition for post-conviction review on his behalf, alleging widespread misconduct by the Portland police officers who investigated the case and the prosecutors who secured his conviction, including accusations that authorities hid evidence, police lied under oath, altered witness statements and coerced people to testimony.

Sanborn was convicted with the testimony of a single eyewitness, Hope Cady, who was 13 when she said she saw Sanborn stab Briggs on the Maine State Pier in Portland in May 1989. But Fairfield has alleged Cady was intimidated and coerced by detectives into implicating Sanborn, and that she was threatened with jail if she did not comply with officers’ wishes.

The now-retired detectives, James Daniels and Daniel Young, have denied wrongdoing in written affidavits.

Cady recanted her eyewitness testimony at a bail hearing in April, at which Wheeler granted Sanborn’s release on $10,000 cash bail.

Since then, two boxes of case files, evidence and other material related to the Briggs investigation was turned over by Daniels, who kept the boxes in an upstairs storage room in his home.

Maine’s post-conviction law gives defendants such as Sanborn a one-year window to file for post-conviction review from the period when new facts could be discovered through the exercise of due diligence. Sanborn’s attorneys also must outline the essential facts of their claim, a term whose definition was in dispute at Friday’s hearing.

Fairfield said she is under no obligation to produce the detailed, footnoted version of her case for prosecutors before several days of hearings, currently slated to begin Oct. 4.

“What the state is asking for is a trial before the trial,” Fairfield said. “The state was in possession of this material. We just got it.”