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Judge still deciding on murder suspects request for no mask

Reeves is charged with murdering Sally Shaw in 2017.
Reeves is charged with murdering Sally Shaw in 2017.(Gray tv)
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 5:28 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A man from New York accused of killing a woman in Cherryfield was in court via video conference asking a judge not to wear a mask during trial.

Carine Reeves, 39, is charged with murdering 55-year-old Sally Shaw.

Shaw was found shot to death, her body left on the side of a road in Cherryfield in 2017.

Reeves' trial is scheduled to begin in late this month.

It’s one of the first to take place since the pandemic began.

In court documents, his attorney says wearing a mask could prejudice the jury, since in the history of this country, masks have been associated with crime.

Prosecutors contends they could make accommodations for this, but Reeves will have to wait until it is safe to be in a courtroom without a mask.

“To ask him to give up his speedy trial rights and his rights under the interstate compact in order to get that is simply a false choice. The court can accomplish both. My client, again, should not be forced to choose between his rights,” Defense Attorney Steve Smith said to the judge.

Asst. Attorney General Leane Zainea rebuttals“Although the defendant does have constitutional rights, your honor, those constitutional rights also have to be balanced against the health and safety of all individuals involved in the process.”

The judge said that he would make a decision regarding the masks by Thursday morning before final jury selection.

His lawyer is also asking Reeves not be identified by his alleged nickname of “Terror,” which could also create a prejudice.

The state has agreed to this motions and the judge granted it.

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