MISSOULA – A man who has served almost 10 years in prison for the death of his infant son was freed Monday after a Ravalli County judge overturned his conviction.
A Missoula County judge sentenced Robert Wilkes to 40 years in prison in 2009 after prosecutors say he killed his 3-month-old son by violently shaking him.
The Montana Innocence Project took up the case several years ago, claiming Wilkes’ defense was inadequate. They also claimed other physicians could have proven the baby’s injuries were consistent with a pre-existing medical condition and not homicidal violence.
The organization also said Wilkes has always maintained his innocence and the baby showed no signs of abuse.
The State of Montana must now decide whether it will appeal Judge James Haynes’ decision, re-try Wilkes or dismiss the charge.