Man sentenced to life for killing Aroostook County couple back in court

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 4:17 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - An Aroostook County man serving life in prison for murder was back in court Wednesday in Bangor.

He’s claiming he had ineffective counsel at his trial.

41-year-old Matthew Davis of Houlton was found guilty in 2017 of shooting and killing 49-year-old Heidi Pratt and 51-year-old Michael Kitchen then setting their home on fire in 2013.

In 2018, his lawyers went before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court arguing the judge should not have allowed testimony from a neighbor who saw Davis crash through a garage door in a stolen truck as he fled in Oakfield.

The neighbor says he recognized Davis from a mugshot published by a news outlet, instead of photos provided by police.

In court Wednesday, Dr. Brian Cutler, an eyewitness expert, testified it’s possible the neighbor’s memory was driven by the photo he saw.

The defense says he was not allowed to testify during the trial because attorneys at the time did not get their report in to the judge on time.

Davis’s family remains optimistic.

“They’re feeling that if the jury had heard this testimony, it could have made a difference. It was, I think, a close case to start with based on how long the jury deliberated, and this could have made a difference,” explained Davis’s attorney, Hunter Tzovarras.

Tzovarras adds they will review videos and may request them to go to court.

If not, the judge will issue a written decision.