- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A Massachusetts man convicted of gunning down two people, including the mother of his four children in front of their 7-year-old son, is appealing to Maine’s highest court.

Lawyers and prosecutors were scheduled to deliver arguments Wednesday in the case of 32-year-old Joel Hayden of New Bedford, Mass.

Hayden contends in his appeal that the evidence didn’t support a murder conviction and that the punishment of two life sentences was too harsh.

He was convicted of the July 2011 shootings of Renee Sandora and Trevor Mills at Sandora’s New Gloucester home. His lawyers say he was under the influence of oxycodone and cocaine on the day of the shooting, so couldn’t have acted intentionally. They contend that means he should’ve been convicted of manslaughter, not murder.

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