A Limington man has been released from prison after the Maine Supreme Judicial Court overturned his guilty verdict for the murder of his neighbor.

What Were the Details of the Case?

It was a gruesome murder. Bruce Akers and Douglas Flint were neighbors who had been at odds for some time. Just before Flint disappeared in June of 2016, Akers had called the police claiming that his neighbor had stolen alcohol and tools from him. Court documents state that Flint also had an issue with Akers, who had trespassed and bathed in Flint's swimming pool. The day after Akers called the police about the liquor, Flint's family reported him missing. That was on a Friday.

A search was launched for the 55-year-old man and, over that weekend, his remains were found in a pile of deer carcasses in Akers' backyard. Officials said he had nearly been decapitated with a machete. Akers was questioned and then charged with murder. In 2020, a jury found Akers guilty and sentenced him to 38 years in prison.

Why Was the Conviction Overturned?

He is now free after the Maine Supreme Judicial Court reviewed the case. Akers appealed his conviction, stating that his 4th, 5th, and 14th amendments were violated. In short, the court agreed with Akers that the judge in his original trial had admitted evidence obtained before the suspect was read his Miranda rights, evidence the Supreme Court said should never have been allowed.

What Happens Now?

Akers was released from prison last week after WGME-TV reports the state determined it no longer had enough evidence to obtain a conviction. While the state has confidence in the evidence that garnered a guilty verdict in the original trial, the higher court's ruling has made too much of it inadmissible.

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