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