Judge Defends Himself In Baby Death Case, Says Overturning Murder Conviction Will Have ‘Chilling Effect’
A Jackson County judge says a decision by the Michigan Supreme Court to throw out a murder conviction will have a “chilling effect” on judges statewide.
The state appeals court won’t upset a decision that dismissed a second-degree murder charge against Audrionna Rhoades of Shelby Township.
The Supreme Court said the judge likely influenced the jury, especially when he acted like a prosecutor while questioning a defense expert.
A 26-year-old mother and her boyfriend have been charged in connection with the beating death of the woman’s 2-year-old son.
In a unanimous decision, the court says Leo Ackley was poorly served by a trial lawyer who failed to call any expert witnesses.
Mackenzie had pneumonia and an infection, and her 3-year-old sister also was found malnourished, dehydrated and abused and weighed 17 pounds, authorities say.
Both children were lethargic, vomiting and experiencing hallucinations, police said.
The father and stepmother accused of murder, torture and abuse after two young girls were found malnourished and dehydrated are scheduled to return to court.
Prosecutors on Friday accused a father and stepmother of intentional, persistent abuse and neglect of two young girls, one dead and the other fighting for her life in a Detroit hospital.
The girl’s father and stepmother were arrested after police found her unresponsive in Port Huron Tuesday night.