PERRY -- A mistrial was declared in an alleged shaken baby murder case after a Houston County jury was unable to reach a verdict.
Andre Martin, 30, of Centerville, was accused of so violently shaking his 6-week-old daughter on Nov. 16, 2009, that she died from injuries to her brain within 24 hours.
Superior Court Judge Katherine K. Lumsden declared a mistrial after jurors were unable to reach a unanimous decision on charges that included malice and felony murder, cruelty to children, and aggravated battery and aggravated assault. Martin faced life in prison if convicted of malice or felony murder.
At 2:08 p.m. Tuesday, jurors sent a note to the judge indicating that they were split 9-3 to acquit Martin on charges of malice and felony murder. Jurors also indicated in the note that they were split 7-5 toward acquittal on cruelty to children, aggravated battery and aggravated assault charges.
Earlier Tuesday, jurors sent a note to the judge stating they were at an impasse and could not reach a verdict.
In both cases, the judge instructed jurors to attempt to reach a verdict.
The prosecution’s case was built on the premise that the death of Kindall Martin was the result of shaken baby syndrome. Shaken baby syndrome is the common name for inflicted or non-accidental head trauma.
The defense contended that the infant died of natural causes and that police and medical professionals rushed to judgment because Andre Martin told authorities he had shaken the baby in an attempt to revive her before performing CPR.
The case has been marked by conflicting medical testimony from both prosecution and the defense witnesses.
Martin was watching the infant and her then-2-year-old brother while the mother was volunteering at a church food drive.
According to testimony, Martin had placed the baby in a playpen where she slept next to the parent’s bed in the master bedroom. He heard the baby cry, came back into the room, found her on her belly, she vomited, her shook her a little bit, started CPR and called 911.
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