Some believer new DNA testing could connect the murder of a Bowdoin babysitter to a notorious serial killer.
Superior Court Judge Bruce Malonee last month granted a request by Dennis Dechaine for fresh DNA testing in the 1988 slaying of 12-year-old Sarah Cherry, who was abducted from the Bowdoin home where she was babysitting and sexually assaulted, tortured and murdered.
Deschaine, who was tied to the killing by a slew of circumstantial evidence and convicted in 1989, has unsuccessfully appealed his conviction five times over the years. His last effort was rejected by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in 2016.
Dechaine is serving a life sentence and maintains his innocence.
Now that new DNA testing will be conducted, some people believe it will exonerate Deschaine and point the finger for Cherry’s murder to serial killer Marc Evonitz, according to the Portland Press Hearld.
Evonitz is known to have murdered and raped three girls, ages 11, 15 and 16, in Virginia in the 1990s, and raping another 15-year-old girl in his apartment in Columbia, South Carolina, in June 2002. That girl managed to escape, and when police closed in on him, Evonitz killed himself, the Press Herald reported.
He’s also suspected in the unsolved killings of Unity College student Laura “Lollie” Winans, 26, and her girlfriend, 24-year-old Julianne “Julie” Williams, at their backcountry campsite in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia in June 1996. Evonitz was connected to that case after a team from the University of Virginia Law School’s Innocence Project ran a DNA test and the sample was consistent with his profile, the newspaper reported.
Evonitz has been considered as a possible alternative suspect before. He was stationed in Portland from May 1988 to May 1989 while the USS Koelsch, on which he served as a radar technician, was docked there for maintenance at a Bath Iron Works facility, according to the Press Herald.