BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) - A man who was convicted of killing a Battle Creek 3-year-old in 2011 will be given a new trial.
Baylee Stenman died of a subdural hematoma -- blood on the brain caused by head trauma -- in August 2011. Her mother's boyfriend Leo Ackley was convicted of her murder in April 2012 and sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutors said Ackley beat Baylee in the Battle Creek apartment he shared with the toddler and her mother. Ackley claimed Baylee had fallen out of bed, but investigators and doctors said her injuries were not consistent with a fall.
Friday, Calhoun County Judge James Kingsley ordered a new trial because he found that Ackley's original attorney did not effectively defend him.
Ackley's current attorney, Andrew Rodenhouse of Grand Rapids, said the previous attorney failed to introduce an expert witness who would have testified that Baylee's severe head injuries were caused by a fall.
Rodenhouse thinks that had that expert witness been allowed to testify, Ackley wouldn't have been convicted.
The case now heads back to the Michigan Court of Appeals, where Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert said he will appeal the county judge's ruling.
Meanwhile, Ackley remains behind bars.
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