By Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2021

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The attorney for a man who killed a deputy, stole his police vehicle and triggered a massive manhunt is seeking a new trial because prosecutors failed to turn over information that could have helped the defense.

Prosecutors failed to disclose that one of the troopers who arrested John Williams was disciplined for failing to report potential misconduct of another officer, wrote Verne Paradie, Williams’ attorney.

The discipline came a day before Trooper Tyler Maloon testified at a suppression hearing, and it may have been related to Williams’ arrest, Paradie wrote. Paradie said his request for the disciplinary record has gone unanswered by the attorney general’s office.

“While the disciplinary report does not reference the John Williams incident, it seems highly likely given the nature of the discipline and its timing that it was related to the misconduct of one or more officers during the arrest of Williams,” Paradie wrote. Either way, the report should have been turned over to the defense, he wrote in the complaint, filed Friday.

The state supreme court upheld the conviction in November 2020, rejecting Williams’ argument that his confession should’ve been suppressed and that the maximum sentence of life in prison imposed by the judge was excessive.

The defense contended Williams was sleep-deprived, experiencing drug withdrawal and fearful after being beaten by police officers when he confessed to killing Cpl. Eugene Cole in April 2018.

Cole, 61, was the first law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty in nearly 30 years in Maine.

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