Tenants Harbor man convicted of murder fights for new trial

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ROCKLAND, Maine (WABI) - A Tenants Harbor man convicted of a 2012 murder was back in court Friday fighting for a new trial.

Andrew Kierstead was sentenced to 45 years behind bars for shooting and killing Richard Mills, 28, of Cushing.

Kierstead's defense attorney David Paris claims his client's original legal team botched it by not bringing forward a toxicologist that would have proven Kierstead was mentally impaired because of his withdrawal from opiates.

But the state says Kierstead was given adequate legal counsel and was aware of what he was doing when he murdered Mills.

"For a lot of these people, the opioids is what normalizes their life," said Paris. "And you take away someone who's got a huge addiction over a decade on a daily basis, they are not acting as if there were in a normal or cohesive state of mind. That's basically what our argument is, and that was ignored at the trial."

The state declined to comment.

The defense now has 45 days to submit a written closing argument.