According to a published report, an Ohio woman who spent 19 years in prison for allegedly killing a baby left in her care was released on Thursday after new evidence uncovered has led to the charges being dropped and her compassion.
Kim Hoover-Moore, 57, was found guilty in 2003 in the alleged murder and child endangerment of 9-month old Samaisha Benson, based on a coroner’s assessment that the child had died of “shaken baby syndrome,” The Associated Press reported.
A new analysis earlier this year found that Benson had an older, undetected injury that could have led to the bleeding that killed the child, who had been in Hoover-Moore’s home daycare back in 2002, according to an affidavit signed by the former deputy Franklin County coroner. According to the report, Hoover-Moore noticed the baby’s problems days before the new evidence was presented.
Dr. Patrick Fardal (ex-deputy Franklin County coroner) stated that he was a former deputy Franklin County Coroner in the February 18 affidavit: “I cannot conclude at present that pathologically the injuries suffered by Samaisha occurred within the time window that Ms. Hoover-Moore was in charge of her care,” He said. “The acute changes all occurred within a 4-5 day window before her death.”
Benson had been dropped off at Hoover-Moore’s Columbus home on November 29, 2002, by her father, according to Hoover-Moore’s motion for a new trial by attorney Kort Gatterdam.
Hoover-Moore dialed 911 after seeing that the baby couldn’t hold her head up and was not breathing. The baby was taken to Columbus Children’s Hospital. “shaken baby syndrome.” A CAT scan confirmed a skull injury and internal brain bleeding. The baby died on December 1, 2002.
The motion for a new trial included the baby’s medical records, radiology images, and the autopsy report, Newsweek reported.
Franklin County Judge Carl Aveni granted the new trial request, vacated Hoover-Moore’s conviction, and ordered her immediate release, the AP reported.
Gary Tyack, Franklin County prosecutor, represented Hoover-Moore before he resigned. All charges were dismissed by a different prosecutor “in the interest of justice.” According to the news outlet, the defense and prosecutor agreed in court that there was enough evidence at the time to charge Hoover-Moore.
Newsweek reported that a lawyer for Hoover-Moore claimed justice was done on Thursday after 19 years.
Joanna Sanchez, director of the Ohio Public Defender’s Wrongful Conviction Project, was elated by the news. “The medical evidence proves what Ms. Hoover-Moore has always said: She is innocent,” She spoke.
Newsweek reported that Shaken baby convictions are under fire nationally due to new evidence challenging the diagnosis and multiple exonerations.
After 15 years imprisonment, a Californian man was released in April after prosecutors, and a judge concluded that scientific research on shaken baby syndrome had changed in recent years.