AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — An attorney for a Franklin County man convicted in 2012 of a 1980 slaying has told the state's highest court that evidence against his client is "entirely circumstantial."

Jay Mercier was convicted of murder in the 1980 death of Rita St. Peter of Anson.

The Portland Press Herald ( ) reports that Mercier's attorney, Hunter Tzovarras, asked the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Wednesday to vacate the conviction based on several reasons.

Tzovarras argued that the unavailability of the chief medical examiner who conducted St. Peter's autopsy in 1980 to testify at the trial deprived Mercier of his Sixth Amendment right to confront his accuser.

Assistant Attorney General Lara Nomani argued for the state to uphold Mercier's conviction, saying prosecutors never introduced the autopsy report into evidence.

The court did not immediately rule.


Information from: Portland Press Herald,