Review of Anthony Sanborn murder conviction will move forward

Anthony Sanborn in court August 4, 2017

PORTLAND (WGME) -- The judge in the case of convicted murderer Anthony Sanborn, Jr., said Friday she will allow Sanborn's post-conviction review to move forward.

Sanborn says he was wrongly convicted back in 1992 of killing Jessica Briggs, and he wants the murder conviction thrown out.

Justice Joyce Wheeler said Sanborn's petition to review the case will move forward.

In court Friday morning, state prosecutors argued the petition should be dismissed and should not even go to a post-conviction review.

Sanborn was released from prison on bail back in April after a witness recanted her testimony.

Prosecutors told Justice Wheeler on Friday that Sanborn's defense team is making unsupported claims and have failed to prove that the state did anything wrong during the original trial back in 1992.

They told the judge that the accusations from the defense are too vague and need to be more specific.

"We can't defend 'a lot.' We can't look for 'a lot' in the defense attorney boxes. We can't look for 'other witnesses as well' until we know what 'the stuff' is and what 'a lot' is and what the 'other witnesses' are," said prosecutor Meg Elam.

Defense attorney Amy Fairfield said she would need more time to go through all of the evidence recently turned over by retired Portland Police detective Jim Daniels, who was storing boxes of notes and files at home.

"There is 4,800 pages in that box, and I respectfully disagree with Ms. Elam's characterization. It is a treasure trove and what it shows is that this investigation and this trial and the state's regard for Anthony Sanborn's due process was a malevolent charade," Fairfield said.

Justice Wheeler said she would not dismiss the petition and will allow the case to move forward to a hearing on the evidence, which will likely happen in October.

Wheeler said she will require the defense team to be more specific so the state can properly prepare its case and expects to issue a written ruling next week.

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