Ellsworth man serving sentence for beating his wife back in Bangor Court

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - An Ellsworth man serving a 47-year sentence for beating his wife to death in 2013 was in court in Bangor Friday.

Christopher Saenz was convicted in 2015 of the Christmas day 2013 murder of his wife, Hilary. He claims his legal counsel was ineffective.

His father took the stand Friday and said his attorneys said expert testimony from a witness regarding the autopsy would weigh heavily in Saenz’s favor.

A Hancock County Jail Corrections Officer testified on Friday and said Saenz was nervous about going to trial but seemed confident after talking with his lawyers.

His new lawyer says Saenz was advised by his former lawyer against a plea deal.

Jeff Silverstein, Defense Attorney, said, "That Toothaker came in and told him as a result of those experts and reports he would be exonerated and that he should turn down the plea offer because at worst he would be convicted of manslaughter and he would get nothing close to that plea offer."

The State declined to comment on the hearing.

The Judge will rule on this challenge at a later date.