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Matthew Thomas' mother: It's not justice
Wilhemina Hicks' 6-year-old son Milachi peeked around the door jamb at his Troy home as his mother spoke briefly to CBS6 off camera Thursday night about her boy's twin brother, Matthew and the alleged crime committed against him when he was four months old.
"It's not justice for my son," she said, referring to the not guilty verdict returned by the jury five hours earlier in Rensselaer County Court. Matthew's father, Adrian Thomas had been accused of murdering the baby. Hicks said she heard from the jury, through the prosecutor, that jurors did not believe Thomas was necessarily innocent but did not have enough evidence to lead them to a guilty verdict.
"We did the best we could with the evidence we had left in this case," prosecutor Christa Book told reporters outside the courtroom.
When Thomas was convicted in 2009 jurors saw a recording of him showing police how he threw the baby down. Prosecutors argued the boy hit his head, causing fatal injuries. In February the state's highest court ruled the recorded police interview was improper and threw out the conviction, leading to a second trial. The court found police were wrong to assure Thomas he would not be charged and to urge him to demonstrate what he had done so that doctors might save the baby. The baby was already dead.
That interview was not part of the second trial. The prosecution still argued Thomas had been bouncing the baby and that the baby bounced off a mattress injuring his head. Matthew had been diagnosed as having sepsis. The defense argued that was what killed him and presented professional witnesses who cast doubt on the cause of death.
Hicks told CBS6 she had a hard time testifying because she wanted so badly to tell the jury about past incidents but could not. She wanted to see Thomas locked up longer. Since his conviction in October, 2009, he has served four and a half years for a crime which, according to the jury, he did not commit.