Friday, December 19, 2014

Back in action: Catch-up (8): Andrew Babick: Michigan; New trial on arson-murder convictions granted in light of changes in scientific evidence which had not been available to his defence counsel; Battle Creek Enquirer.

STORY: "Andrew  Babick wins new trial in '95 arson-murder," by reporter Trace Christenson, published by the Battle Creek Enquirer on November 7, 2014.

GIST: "Babick told investigators he went to the house to complain about crack cocaine he purchased earlier. While he waited for the man who sold it, Babick said he fell asleep on the couch and may have dropped a cigarette before eventually leaving. But experts at the trial said the fire was arson and not an accident caused by a cigarette. But at a hearing before Kingsley this year, experts testified that a fire could have started in the couch and then flashed over and penetrated the house through a window, causing the fire which destroyed the structure. Lawyers argued at the hearing that scientific evidence disputing some of the finding of arson has changed but was not available for the trial attorney, Alma Masson-Thurmer. She told Kingsley she had to concede the conclusion of arson presented by prosecutors from the Michigan Attorney General. "She stated that the fire science in use by experts at the time caused everyone to believe the fire was an arson as opposed to being accidentally set," Kingsley wrote in his 12-page opinion. "... she had to focus on who committed the arson, rather than on whether it was an intentionally caused fire." Kingsley found the evidence was new and that the defense tried unsuccessfully to find evidence to contradict the prosecutor. Both were needed for the judge to rule for a new trial. "The test is whether the newly discovered evidence would render a different result probable on a retrial," Kingsley wrote. " ... a different result on retrial is probable.""

The entire story can be found at:

 See related  Arson Project post: "Andrew Babick, convicted and sentenced to life without parole for a 1995 arson and double murder based on unconfirmed accelerant detection canine alerts and suspicious burn patterns, was given a re-trial." (Link to opinion directing new trial provided);


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog