Molly Midyette seemed to have everything: a law degree, a husband who was part of a very prominent Boulder family, a new baby. But one day in 2006, when husband Alex was watching him, baby Jason fell ill. He died in a hospital days later.
Today Molly has no child, husband or new trial, as determined by Boulder Judge Lael Montgomery after a nine-day hearing.
Molly's attorneys had argued that she was denied a fair trial because she was a battered woman, controlled by her husband and his powerful family, afraid to tell the truth -- and so she was unable to defend herself at her original trial.
It wasn't until after the verdict in that 2007 trial -- which found Molly guilty of child abuse resulting in death for failing to get help, and ultimately sentenced to sixteen years in prison -- that Molly told her own lawyer about how the Midyette family had manipulated her. She repeated those charges to Westword this past spring in "Bedtime Story."
But Montgomery didn't buy it. "The evidence showed that Defendant was an intelligent, assertive law school graduate who was actively engaged with her lawyer in the preparation and defense of her case at all times," Montgomery wrote in her decision denying a new trial.
Dr. Lenore Walker, who first identified the Battered Woman Syndrome decades ago when she was based in Denver, was one of the the experts who testified on Molly's behalf at the hearing. But in her ruling, Montgomery said she didn't find enough evidence that Molly Midyette was a battered woman or suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Alex Midyette was also sentenced to sixteen years in prison at a later trial, when he was convicted of child abuse leading to death.
Molly's supporters have already started the next round in the fight to free her, and last night shared this message from one of Molly's attorneys, Alison Ruttenberg:
It is not over yet. We have a long road ahead of us, first in Court of Appeals, and then in federal court. We have a lot of expenses yet to pay (at least $10,000) and therefore, over the next two years, we need people's continued support both emotionally and financially. Tom and I are upset, but we see this every day of the week in our practice. What we do is pick ourselves up and move to the next step and keep fighting. We feel that we will win eventually."
Look below to see a video of Midyette telling her story.
More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Freda Poundstone dies at 84: Republican power changed the shape of Denver's future."
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