JUDGE VACATES PLEA IN AMY YATES CASE -- Finding that the confession of an eighteen year old mentally disabled boy was trustworthy and would have likely prevented trial counsel from recommending that his client take an Alford plea (an admission that there is sufficent evidence to convict but maintaining actual innocence), Judge Daniel P. Camp of the Carroll County court vacated the guilty plea of J.A, who at the age of 12 was charged with the murder of 9-year old Amy Yates. The decision is a thorough and well-reasoned decision one which all but eviscerates the State's case against J.A. It also puts the State in a real pickle. Although the State can retry J.A., the confession was the only evidence against him, and the judge has deemed the new confession to be admissible, reliable and corroborated by the other evidence in the case. At the very least, this confession should create reasonable doubt as to J.A.'s guilt. But the real problem for the State is that their position in court claiming that the new confession was unreliable, makes it very difficult for them to try the 18 year old for the murder. Will the community stand for allowing a man who murdered a 9 year old girl to remain in the community? Stay tuned to new developments in this case, including the probable release of J.A sometime early bext week.
The decision which can be read here at: [INSERT pdf link]