Julie Baumer, who served four years in prison for allegedly causing a serious brain injury in her infant nephew, was cleared last week when a Michigan jury acquitted her of child abuse charges.
Baumer was convicted in 2005 when prosecutors alleged that she had caused her six-year-old nephew to suffer a serious brain injury by violently shaking him. She was granted a new trial last year after attorneys at the Michigan Innocence Clinic presented evidence that the boy had actually suffered from venous sinus thrombosis (VST) or a "childhood stroke." After a new four-week trial that began last month, she was acquitted of all charges on Friday
. Carl Marlinga, a former prosecutor who represented Baumer at her second trial, said he expects the jury verdict will impact shaken baby cases nationwide.
"We now have a cautionary flag for police, prosecutors and physicians to consider VST (venous sinus thrombosis)," Marlinga told the Detroit News.
Marlinga, who served as the prosecutor for Macomb County, Michigan for two decades, pledged to devote time to working on wrongful conviction cases after the exoneration of Ken Wyniemko
, who had been wrongfully convicted of a rape while Marlinga was in office. Marlinga supported Wyniemko's request for DNA testing and cooperated with his attorneys.
The Michigan Innocence Clinic is a member of the Innocence Network
Convictions based on shaken baby syndrome have come under fire in recent years as scientific studies have cast doubt on forensic methods used in the investigations. Read more