State v. Jordan, 7288

Decision Date01 June 1995
Docket NumberNo. 7288,Docket No. CUM,7288
Citation659 A.2d 849
PartiesSTATE of Maine v. George R. JORDAN, Jr. DecisionLaw94 773.
CourtMaine Supreme Court

Julia Sheridan, Asst. Dist. Atty., Portland, for the State.

George R. Jordan, Jr., Portland, defendant pro se.


GLASSMAN, Justice.

George R. Jordan, Jr. appeals from the judgments of conviction entered in the Superior Court (Cumberland County, Crowley, J.) following jury verdicts finding him guilty of six counts of violating a permanent order for protection from abuse, 19 M.R.S.A. § 769 (1981 & Supp.1994) (Class D); one count of filing a false public report, 17-A M.R.S.A. § 509 (1983) (Class D); and one count of violating a condition of release, 15 M.R.S.A. § 1092 (Supp.1994) (Class E). Jordan does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence to support the convictions. Rather, he contends, inter alia, that (1) adverse pretrial publicity deprived him of a fair trial; (2) the State made impermissible inflammatory remarks during its opening and closing statements; (3) there is new evidence warranting a new trial; (4) he received ineffective assistance of counsel; and (5) the sentences imposed by the court were excessive. 1 Because the trial court exceeded its statutory authority when sentencing Jordan for the Class E offense, we modify that sentence, and, as modified, we affirm the judgments.

After the jury returned guilty verdicts, the trial court imposed concurrent sentences of 364 days for each of the six convictions for violating the protection from abuse order; a consecutive sentence of 364 days, all suspended, and one year of probation for filing a false public report; and a 364-day sentence for violating a condition of release to run concurrent with the sentence imposed on the charge of filing a false report but consecutive to the sentences imposed for violations of the protection from abuse order.


We find no merit in Jordan's contentions, raised for the first time by this appeal, that adverse pretrial publicity deprived him of receiving a fair trial, that the State's opening and closing statements were impermissibly inflammatory, and that new evidence exists requiring a new trial.

" 'As a general rule, we will not consider an issue on appeal unless it was raised in the trial court and the record on appeal is sufficient to allow an informed review of the questions involved.' " State v. Deering, 611 A.2d 972, 974 (Me.1992) (quoting State v. Goodine, 587 A.2d 228, 229-30 (Me.1991)). Because Jordan did not provide a record of the pretrial publicity, it is impossible for us to review this claim or to gauge the impact, if any, on the jury. See State v. Cooper, 617 A.2d 1011, 1014 (Me.1992) (by failing to provide a record of exhibits and transcript of hearing on motion for change of venue due to pretrial publicity, defendant failed to demonstrate abuse of discretion or constitutional violation in trial court's denial of motion); State v. Addington, 518 A.2d 449, 451 (Me.1986) (we require record of publicity to review trial court's denial of defendant's motion for change of venue due to adverse publicity); State v. Johnson, 479 A.2d 1284, 1286 (Me.1984) ("Any argument that defendant may have that the publicity in this case was so prejudicial as to render a fair trial within Cumberland County an impossibility is defeated by defendant's failure to make a record of any pretrial publicity.").

Jordan contends that the State's use of the word "stalking" in its opening and closing statements when referring to Jordan's conduct toward his wife after she had obtained a permanent protection from abuse order was so highly inflammatory as to deprive him of a fair trial. Contrary to this contention, our review of the record discloses no error, much less obvious error, in the State's opening and closing statements. See State v. Comer, 644 A.2d 7, 9 (Me.1994) (we review for obvious error when defendant fails to object at trial); M.R.Crim.P. 52(b) ("Obvious errors or defects affecting substantial rights may be noticed although they were not brought to the attention of the court.").

As to his final contention, Jordan failed to bring his claim of newly discovered evidence before the Superior Court by a motion for a new trial pursuant to M.R.Crim.P. 33. Accordingly, we are without an adequate record to review this contention.


Jordan next contends that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. We have repeatedly stated that such claims are better suited for post-conviction review. State v. Wells, 658 A.2d 654, 656 (Me.1995); State v. LaBare, 637 A.2d 854, 856 (Me.1994); State v. Reynoso, 604 A.2d 441, 442 (Me.1992). When a claim for ineffective assistance of counsel is raised on direct appeal, we will not consider the claim unless the record...

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2 cases
  • Samsara Mem'l Trust v. Kelly
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Court
    • August 19, 2014
    ...friendship with Crowley or its possible effect on Justice Cole's ability to be fair and impartial. See M.R.App. P. 5 ; State v. Jordan, 659 A.2d 849, 851 (Me.1995) (“As a general rule, we will not consider an issue on appeal unless it was raised in the trial court and the record on appeal i......
  • State v. Nichols, Docket No. K
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Court
    • August 5, 1997
    ...LeBlanc, 290 A.2d 193, 202 (Me.1972). To date, we have adhered to the same basic formulation of this principle. See, e.g., State v. Jordan, 659 A.2d 849, 851 (Me.1995) (we will not consider an ineffective assistance claim on direct appeal "unless the record reveals, beyond the possibility f......

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