BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A judge has made a major decision for a mother convicted of killing her child who was asking for a new trial.
Molly Midyette, who now goes by her maiden name, Bowers, will not get a new trial.
In a 14-page ruling Judge Lael Montgomery says the evidence does not support Bowers’ claim that she was incompetent to assist in her defense because she was traumatized by domestic abuse. Montgomery said Bowers’ trial attorney was extremely competent and professional in putting forth a defense.
Bowers broke down after closing arguments and hugged her mother before she was led back to jail.
For 9 days Bowers’ attorneys appealed to Montgomery to grant her a new trial. They said Bowers was incompetent to assist in her own defense at her original trial because of battered woman syndrome. It’s an argument Colorado courts have never previously addressed. It has been upheld in the Massachusetts Supreme Court.
The attorneys argued her ex-husband, Alex Midyette, his attorney and his family manipulated and bullied her during her trial. They said her former trial attorney, Craig Truman, provided ineffective counsel because he knew about the abuse but didn’t use it in his defense strategy.
But prosecutors attacked Bowers’ credibility, pointing out contradictions in her testimony and playing a jail tape that they say showed a loving, not abusive, Alex Midyette. They argued even if Bowers suffered from battered woman syndrome, there’s no evidence it rendered her incompetent to assist in her defense.
Montgomery, who presided over Bowers’ first trial, also didn’t buy her claims and denied her request for a new trial. The judge said in her ruling that Bowers simply wasn’t credible.
Bowers was sentenced to 16 years in jail along with her ex-husband for the death of their 10-week old son, Jason. She has served 4 years.
Her attorneys say they will appeal the ruling.