Friday, July 6, 2018

Robert Wilkes: Montana: Shaken baby syndrome case: "'Overwhelming' medical evidence helps overturn Missoula father's homicide conviction," The Missoulian reports. (Reporter Dillon Kato: "A District Court judge has overturned the 2009 homicide conviction of Robert Wilkes, marking yet another court victory for the Montana Innocence Project. Wilkes’ 3-month-old son Gabriel died in October 2008. More than a year later, Wilkes was convicted in the baby's death, and sentenced to 40 years in prison. The Montana Innocence Project began to look into his case in 2012, finding that Gabriel had no signs of abuse and that the prosecution relied on the theory of Shaken Baby Syndrome in Wilkes' case. The Innocence Project gathered a series of medical experts from around the country to review the case. They determined a number of other likely causes of his death. Also, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy had listed the cause of death as “undetermined,” something Wilkes’ defense attorney did not present at trial."

PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Prosecutors can now appeal Haynes’ order, re-try Wilkes, or dismiss the case. In recent years, the Montana Innocence Project has obtained exonerations for several clients, including Cody Marble, Richard Raugust, Paul Jenkins and Fred Lawrence. A Missoula County judge is expected to rule later this year in another of the Montana Innocence Project’s cases, that of Katie Garding. Garding was convicted in 2011 of vehicular homicide in the hit-and-run death of an East Missoula man, but the Innocence Project is challenging her conviction, citing new information it believes shows she did not commit the crime."


STORY: "Overwhelming' medical evidence helps overturn Missoula father's homicide conviction," by reporter Dillon Kato, published by The Missoulian on July 2, 2018.