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Depositions ordered in shaken baby case
Casey Shelton

MONROE — At a hearing Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, Green County Judge James Beer ordered depositions to be taken in the case of a Brodhead man convicted of killing his infant son by shaking him in 2007. 

Casey J. Shelton, 42, is serving a 40-year prison term at Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun. He has previously tried to appeal his conviction without success.

Now, with the backing of the Wisconsin Innocence Project at the University of Wisconsin Law School, he is seeking a retrial based on new medical evidence. Founded in 1998, the program seeks to exonerate the innocent, educate law students and reform the criminal justice system “by identifying and remedying the causes of wrongful convictions.”

The Innocence Project and similar programs nationwide have successfully freed defendants convicted in shaken baby cases.

The depositions will collect sworn testimony from medical experts, with opportunities for both sides to question each expert. When asked by Beer how many experts each side would be calling on, the defense named three and the state named five.

Katherine Judson, an Innocence Project attorney representing Shelton, said there are “extraordinary amounts of complex medical evidence” to examine.

“There will be a lot the experts agree on, so the task will be to focus on what they don’t agree on,” she said.

One deposition already took place earlier this year, of Dr. Angela Miller, the Monroe Clinic physician who treated the infant who died, according to District Attorney Craig Nolen.

Nolen argued against more depositions, saying it is unnecessary and will cost too much.

In an earlier interview, he told the Times he’s “concerned for the taxpayers.”

“I fundamentally don’t believe that depositions are called for. From the state’s perspective, (the defense is) going on a fishing expedition,” he said. “It ultimately becomes a battle of experts. We’re going to have a moving target … We’re going to be in perpetual depositions.”

Judson dismissed Nolen’s concerns over cost and accused the state of “playing fast and loose with the court.”

“We pay our own experts,” she said.

In ordering the depositions, Beer cited earlier court transcripts

“It does appear that both sides agreed to have depositions,” Beer said.

A deadline of Jan. 9 is scheduled for both sides to set deposition dates.