Appeals court OKs new trial for mom in baby’s 2001 death

Calhoun County

An undated courtesy photo of Tonia Miller and her daughter, Alicia Duff.

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court says a Battle Creek woman convicted of her daughter’s death nearly 20 years ago has presented enough new evidence to get a second trial.

The court affirmed a decision by a judge who said Tonia Miller’s second-degree murder conviction should be set aside.

Defense experts believe Miller’s 11-week-old daughter died in 2001 from pneumonia, not shaken baby syndrome.

The 37-year-old Miller has been in prison since 2003 and is eligible for parole in two years.

Miller says she shook Alicia Duff when the baby gasped for air and stopped breathing while being fed from a bottle. She denied shaking her violently or with an intent to hurt the child.

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