BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Testimony began Tuesday in a new trial for a man once convicted of killing his girlfriend’s three-year-old daughter.
Leo Ackley was convicted of shaking Baylee Stenman but the Michigan Supreme Court ordered a new trial for him on the grounds that he wasn’t properly defended in the first trial.
Ackley said that Baylee died in 2011 from injuries after she fell out of bed. He claims he found her lifeless next to her bed after a nap.
Ackley’s sister Brittany Lake testified that Ackley came to her house with Baylee in his arms, and they sped to the hospital but pulled over when Baylee began foaming at the mouth. Rescue crews were called and tried to revive Baylee using CPR.
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Ackley’s rights were violated because his original attorney did a poor job in defending him.
The University of Michigan Law School received a federal grant to challenge so-called “shaken baby convictions,” including Ackley’s case.
The University of Michigan Innocence Clinic believes that Ackley and two others have been wrongly convicted in shaken baby cases.