Files motion to suppress initial statements, claiming they were not voluntary

Morrill man indicted for murder in Swanville shooting death

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 4:15pm

    BELFAST — A Morrill man accused of murder in the shooting death of 26-year-old Shane Sauer, who resided in Belfast prior to his March 15 death, was indicted by a Waldo County Superior Court Grand Jury May 23.

    Austin McDevitt, 22, was charged with intentional or knowing murder following the shooting, which occurred on Oak Hill Road in Swanville.

    McDevitt was reportedly staying on property with a residence and camp, which was where McDevitt was sleeping with his girlfriend when Sauer, who had previously dated the woman, arrived at the property.

    Sauer and McDevitt engaged in a brief physical confrontation before both found themselves in a compromising position and mutually agreed to end the fight, according to court documents.

    McDevitt allegedly shot Sauer a short time later after he left the residence following a conversation with his former girlfriend. Sauer was reportedly roughly 25 feet away from McDevitt when McDevitt allegedly emptied his gun at his rival, firing 16 rounds and striking Sauer seven times, including three shots to the head, which caused his death.

    McDevitt has been held without bail at Two Bridges Regional Jail since the incident and is being represented by Eric B. Morse, an attorney based in Rockland.

    Morse filed a Motion for Specific Discover Order March 25 after requesting documents including all statements made by McDevitt to law enforcement. The motion states that when the documents were requested from the Attorney General’s Office, they were told it would “months before any automatic discovery materials would be turned over.”

    An Order on Defendant’s Motion for Specific Discovery was issued by Justice Robert Murray April 10, stating that the State must complete its production of discovery to McDevitt by April 19, with the exception of expert reports.

    Morse filed a Motion for Order Requiring a Pretrial Mental Examination April 10, calling into question McDevitt’s “mental health and status, particularly [McDevitt’s] cognitive ability/condition of mind at the time of the alleged offense.”

    An order for mental examination was issued May 14 ordering McDevitt to undergo an examination by the State Forensic Service for evaluation of McDevitt’s mental state at the time of the crime with reference to criminal responsibility. McDevitt will also be examined with regard to the potential effects of a concussion on McDevitt’s mental state at the time of the offense.

    Esquire Eric B. Morse filed a motion to suppress any statements made by McDevitt to Maine State Police detectives on or about March 15 in Belfast. According to the motion, the statements were not voluntarily made, in addition to McDevitt allegedly not having been properly Mirandized. The motion also alleges the statements made were obtained in violation of the Maine Constitution and the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

    Erica Thoms can be reached at