BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A mother convicted of child abuse in the death of her 10-week-old son headed to court Monday in what is expected to be a week-long legal fight to try to get a new trial.
Molly Midyette was sentenced to 16 years in prison after she was convicted in 2007 but she now says she was manipulated and even bullied by her husband and his family and was in no shape to defend herself. She says because of that she was denied the right to a fair trial.
Midyette was convicted of knowingly or recklessly permitting her son Jason to be in a dangerous situation. Jason died in 2006 after suffering broken bones and a skull fracture.
Midyette says she was controlled and emotionally abused by three people:
– Midyette’s husband Alex, who was found guilty of criminally negligent child abuse in 2009 and was also sentenced to 16 years in prison
– her father-in-law J. Nold Midyette, a wealthy Boulder architect
– Alex’s attorney Paul McCormick
The hearing for a new trial started on Monday in Boulder County Court. Midyette’s attorneys say she suffers from battered woman syndrome and wasn’t capable of speaking up at the time of her trial. They also say her previous attorney, Craig Truman, should have known about that.
Truman was the first witness to take the stand on Monday morning. He said he was unaware of the alleged intimidation until after the verdict.
During her trial Truman says Midyette told him and the jury she had no reason to believe her husband would hurt their child. She now says he was using cocaine at the time.
McCormick will also be called to testify. He is accused of inducing her to withhold testimony against her husband.
Truman testified Monday that he even told McCormick to “lay off.”
J. Nold Midyette and Alex Midyette claim that Molly is lying.