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Law Court to hear cases in Houlton

HOULTON, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will be on the road this week as it hears several cases at high schools across the state, including Houlton High School.

Supreme Court Justices will be at Gorham High School on Oct. 8, at Old Town High School on Oct. 9, and at Houlton High School on Oct. 10.

The panel of seven justices will hear arguments that morning, and students will have the opportunity to attend and witness Maine’s justice system at work. 

As part of her effort to educate students and the public about the judicial process, Supreme Court Justice Leigh I. Saufley has asked lawmakers to invite the justices to convene at high schools in their districts. 

The Law Court previously appeared at the University of Maine at Fort Kent in October 2009 and at Caribou High School in 2005. They were at Presque Isle High School in 2014.

On Thursday, the Law Court will hear the case of Erik Wuori vs. Travis Otis. On Dec. 10, 2018, a judgment was issued against Travis Otis in Belfast District Court in the amount of $60,000 plus interest and costs. In the case out of Waldo County, the district court ordered Otis to turn over his 36-foot-long boat to Wuori to settle the judgment, and that Wuori sell the property. They determined that the boat was not exempt under Maine law because Otis did not use the boat for “commercial fishing.” Otis is appealing, arguing that his use of the boat to fish for lobster in closed or restricted waters to obtain data from each lobster for research purposes, for which he is paid, constitutes “commercial fishing,” thereby making his boat exempt from the claims of creditors.  

The second case, Sean Clark vs. Mary Beth Clark, is a real estate case out of Hancock County. 

The third case, state of Maine vs. David Marble Jr, involves a murder conviction appeal out of Cumberland County. Marble Jr. was convicted after a trial of two counts of murder and one count of illegal possession of a firearm. The New York man was sentenced to life in prison for shooting and killing 35-year-old Eric Williams and 26-year-old Bonnie Royer of Manchester. Marble will serve the sentences concurrently.

Police have said Marble, of Rochester, New York, shot both victims in the head because he thought Williams had stolen from him. Prosecutors said Royer was 20 to 22 weeks pregnant at the time

Marble appeals, arguing that the trial court erred in failing to suppress evidence obtained from Marble’s cell phone because the warrant authorizing a search of the cell phone was not supported by probable cause and providing a jury instruction on accomplice liability because the evidence presented did not support the instruction. 

The court begins hearing cases at 9 a.m.

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