For Immediate Release - January 16, 2007

Commonwealth v. Paul Nolin

Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe announced today that the Supreme Judicial Court has affirmed the first-degree murder conviction of Paul Nolin. In October, 2004, Nolin, 42, formerly of Woods Hole, was convicted in the death of Jonathan Wessner after a two-week trial in the Barnstable Superior Court.

Mr. Wessner disappeared on September 20, 2003, after attending an all-night party at Nolin's home. Mr. Wessner's body was discovered on October 1, 2003, on a beach in Woods Hole, covered with rocks. Blood evidence linked Nolin and Mr. Wessner to a boathouse near the beach where Mr. Wessner's body was discovered. Nolin was also the last person seen with Mr. Wessner before Wessner's disappearance.

The Supreme Judicial Court rejected Nolin's claim that the evidence was insufficient to prove that Mr. Wessner was murdered and that Nolin was the killer. The Supreme Judicial Court also rejected Nolin's claims that he was prejudiced by the admission of evidence of a conversation he had asking for his lawyer to come to the Barnstable County Correctional Facility, and the admission of testimony by a forensic dentist identifying Mr. Wessner's remains. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that Nolin received a fair trial.

Upon his conviction, the defendant was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The case was investigated by troopers from the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Cape & Islands District Attorney's Office and the Falmouth Police Department. The case was tried by District Attorney Michael D. O'Keefe. The appeal was handled by Assistant District Attorney Julia K. Holler.

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