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Shelton asks for re-trial in son's death
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MONROE - A former Brodhead man convicted of killing his 2-month-old child in 2007 is seeking a re-trial in light of new medical discoveries that he claims prove his innocence.

Casey Shelton, 41, was sentenced in 2009 to 40 years in prison and an additional 10 years of extended supervision after a jury found him guilty of a Class B felony charge of first-degree reckless homicide.

Shelton was determined to have caused the death of his 2-month old son on Feb. 28, 2007. Shelton maintained that his son, Christopher, choked while eating, but a University of Wisconsin-Madison pathologist testified that an autopsy showed the child sustained a brain injury consistent with common signs of a shaken baby.

However, Cristina Borde, an attorney for the Wisconsin Innocence Project, filed a 60-page motion on May 10 calling for a re-trial after recent scientific discoveries regarding infant brain trauma caused by shaking and alleged failures of Shelton's previous attorney, Michael Murphy, to adequately present evidence to the jury.

According to the motion, Murphy failed to present evidence that Christopher suffered numerous birth defects resulting from complications during birth as well as side effects from his mother's habits while pregnant. These defects included an undiagnosed case of pyloric stenosis (a contraction of the opening of the stomach which causes frequent vomiting) that contributed to Christopher's poor health and eventually could have caused the intercranial pressure that led to his fatal hemorrhage.

In addition, the motion claims that recent advances in medical research into brain trauma suggest that the brain injury that indicated Christopher was shaken - a bilateral subdural hematoma - could have been of a sufficient size to kill him without a violent injury.

Borde said the new evidence "completely changes the picture" and could prove that Shelton is innocent.

Former Assistant Green County District Attorney Jeffrey Kohl, who appeared as special prosecutor, advised that he needed more time to examine Borde's motion, as well as consult with a pathologist. Green County Circuit Judge James Beer scheduled a status conference for June 27.

Should a re-trial exonerate Shelton, he may avoid 30 additional years in prison.