The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned the 2016 murder conviction of Florida single mother Michelle Lodzinski in the 1991 death of her 5-year-old son, Timothy “Timmy” Wiltsley.
Last October, the judges decided to reconsider the case.
Appeals judge Jose Fuentes cast the decisive 4-3 vote in favor of Lodzinski’s acquittal on Tuesday.
“After considering all of the evidence and giving the state the benefit of all its favorable testimony and all favorable inferences drawn from that testimony, no reasonable jury could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Lodzinski had willfully or knowingly caused Timothy’s death, “Judge Barry Albin said in the majority opinion.
Then Lodzinski, 23, on May 25, 1991, that her son disappeared from the line during a merry-go-round at Kennedy Park in Sayreville when she went to get a soda. Lodzinski became a suspect in the case following a series of inconsistencies she told investigators.
Then, in October of that year, a local teacher was exploring the Edison Marshes when he found a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sneaker for children. He recognized it from the reports as the one Timmy was wearing when he disappeared.
The teacher took the shoe to Sayreville Police, launching a full-scale investigation. A second matching sneaker was later found, and the boy’s decomposed remains were found around a truck tire in Red Root Creek. His death was ruled a homicide.
Years later, Lodzinski faked his own kidnapping and pleaded guilty to stealing a computer at his work. She was not charged in the homicide case against her son until August 2014, around what would be her 29th birthday.
Albin said Tuesday that there was not enough evidence or testimony to conclude that Timmy “by the negligent, reckless or intentional or conscious acts of a person, even though that person was Lodzinski”.
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