MISSOULA – A Montana judge has overturned the conviction of a man sentenced to 40 years in prison for his 3-month-old son’s 2008 death.
Prosecutors said the boy, Gabriel, must have died due to Shaken Baby Syndrome. The Montana Innocence Project took up Robert “Dave” Wilkes’ case in 2012 and found no signs of abuse and medical experts who determined other possible causes of death.
The Innocence Project also found that Wilkes’ trial attorney never mentioned that the medical examiner had listed Gabriel’s cause of death as undetermined.
District Judge James Haynes said in his order Thursday that Wilkes’ trial attorney had been ineffective.
Prosecutors can now appeal the order, re-try Wilkes or dismiss the case.
Wilkes said in a statement that he’s been waiting, hoping and praying for this moment for many years.
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