COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A woman serving time on charges of killing a 9-month-old girl in 2003 is being released from prison.
A court order in Franklin County on Thursday vacated the conviction of Kim Hoover-Moore and ordered her immediate release. The prosecutor will not refile charges, according to court documents.
The Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney issued the following statement Thursday:
…the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office has decided in the interest of justice not to oppose Ms. Hoover-Moore’s motion for new trial and to dismiss the indictment. This decision was not made lightly, and was made only after careful deliberation. It is important to emphasize – and the defense has agreed – that the original evidence was strong enough to warrant prosecution and that there was no misconduct by either law enforcement or the Prosecutor’s Office.Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Hoover-Moore spent the last 18 years in prison and is expected to be released Thursday.
She had been found guilty of one count of murder, two counts of endangering children, one count of felonious assault, and one count of involuntary manslaughter.
Hoover-Moore had been babysitting the child on Nov. 29, 2002, when she called 911 to report the child was having trouble breathing. Medics transported the baby to Children’s Hospital, where a CT scan showed she was suffering from a skull fracture and other signs of shaken baby impact syndrome, according to court records.
At trial, the attending physician said the injuries had occurred “within probably minutes” of the 911 call. But the defense argued that the child’s father caused the injuries before placing the baby in the defendant’s care.
The public defender’s office said the original coroner and other experts later reviewed the child’s records “and discovered that she suffered from an older head injury that occurred days to weeks before her collapse” and death.
In Thursday’s statement, the prosecutor’s office said an expert witness recanted his testimony, which led to an investigation and eventual dismissal.
“An affidavit was filed by a doctor who served as an expert witness in Ms. Kim Hoover-Moore’s original trial… In the affidavit filed by the doctor, he recanted portions of his testimony that were critical in establishing Ms. Hoover-Moore’s guilt at trial,” the statement read. In light of these developments, the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office thoroughly reviewed the evidence and conducted its own investigation, which included consulting with an additional medical expert.”