adrianthomas

[Above:  Adrian Thomas is hugged by defense attorney Art Frost after being acquitted of second-degree murder in the death of his infant son, Matthew Dante Thomas in New York.]

About 4 months after the New York Court of Appeals overturned Adrian Thomas’ murder conviction, he was found not guilty by a jury at retrial.  In 2008, Matthew Thomas, 4-months-old, died.  Doctor’s thought it was shaken baby syndrome, a controversial medical diagnosis.  The infant’s father, Adrian Thomas, was immediately the prime suspect.  After 10 hours of interrogation, Thomas confessed.

Police told Thomas that his son would live only if he told them how he got the injuries.  Then, they pressed him to say he caused the injuries.  Thomas confessed thinking that his son would live, but in reality, he had already died.  Thomas was convicted, based mostly upon his confession, in 2009 of second-degree murder.  The conviction was overturned by an appeals court due to coercion.  The court said that while police are allowed to lie to suspects, they went too far in this case.

Jurors deliberated for 2 days before acquitting Thomas in a Rensselaer County courtroom.  Although prosecutors argue that Thomas threw his son onto a bed in a fit of rage and frustration causing his traumatic death, expert testimony presented by the defense said that the boy died from a bacterial infection.

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Comments
  1. Jay Chong says:

    Its important that people understand that police are not District Attorneys or judges. They cannot determine whether charges will be brought or what type of sentences, if any, are given. If a police officer starts talking about arrests, charges, or sentences, buyer beware. http://lawblog.legalmatch.com/2014/08/08/can-police-lie/

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  2. issy says:

    The reason Adrian Thomas “confessed” is so often misreported. He did not confess thinking his son would live. He confessed because the police threatened several times to arrest his wife if he didnt. In the video he states, ‘I know I didnt do it and I know my wife didn’t do it but if it comes down to it, I will take the fall because I have a good wife and I don’t want her to go to prison.” He agreed to do so after repeated assurances by interrogators that they would consider it an accident and he would not be arrested. Still Adrian Thomas couldn’t provide any details so the police furnished them to him. In fact, every scenario of an “accident” Adrian Thomas adopted was first suggested by the police. All 7 judges on the NY Court of Appeals point that out in their unanimous decision.

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