Man Serving 48 Years for Killing Woman Wants Conviction Tossed After Pandemic Delays Trial

A man serving 48 years for killing a woman is asking Maine's high court to throw out his conviction due to trial delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Associated Press reported.

Carine Reeves, 41, was convicted in October of 2020 of murder in the shooting death of 55-year-old Sally Shaw in 2017.

Reeves' murder trial was the first to go before a Maine jury after the pandemic caused delays in court proceedings. He claims that because his trial didn't take place within 120 days after he returned to Maine from New York, his guilty verdict should be thrown out, the Bangor Daily News reported.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case next week.

Prosecutors alleged that Reeves was in Maine at the time of the killing in July of 2017 to sell drugs. He and Shaw, along with Quaneysha Greeley, were traveling in a car from Machias to Bangor when Shaw started insulting the mother of Reeves' children, Greeley testified during his trial.

Though Reeves and Greeley asked Shaw to stop provoking him, she refused. Greeley said that Reeves hit Shaw, stopped the car and then dragged her out of the vehicle before shooting her and abandoning her body, the Daily News reported.

Her body was discovered by another driver who was passing by in Cherryfield. Shaw's daughter, Heather Senechiame, applauded Reeves' conviction.

"The state did an amazing job bringing to light everything," she said. "It was hard, but we were here from beginning to the end."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Maine Supreme Judicial Court
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is scheduled to hear arguments next week in the case of a man who contends his murder conviction should be thrown out because of trial delays during the COVID-19 pandemic. Above, Justice Andrew M. Mead (third from right) asks a question during a hearing in the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in Portland, Maine, on April 12, 2018. Robert F. Bukaty/AP Photo

In the new court action, Reeves contends an interstate agreement required his trial to be held within 120 days. The trial was set for May of 2020 but was delayed because of the pandemic.

Attorney Rory McNamara, who is handling Reeves' appeal, contends the judge had no legal authority to delay the trial.

But Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber contends the trial still happened within the 120-day timeframe when accounting for the period during which no jury trials were held in Maine.

Reeves maintained his innocence and said he was not present when Shaw was killed.