Montana Innocence Project
client’s homicide case will be reconsidered by a circuit court, according to a ruling Tuesday by the state Supreme Court. Robert J. Wilkes will get another chance to contest his 2009 homicide conviction in relation to the death of his 3-month-old son.
Great Falls Tribune
, Wilkes claims his trial lawyer provided ineffective counsel by failing to present any witnesses during the trial and neglecting to have the autopsy report reviewed by another medical examiner.
Montana Innocence Project attorneys presented testimony from pathologists and pediatricians who claim the child had a hemorrhage caused by either a mildly traumatic birth or a rare liver disorder. Both conditions present effects similar to abusive head injuries, the lawyers said.
State prosecutors argue that the head injury is consistent with shaken-baby syndrome. They claim the injury could only have occurred while Wilkes was watching his son.
Wilkes is currently serving a 40-year sentence.
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