ATLANTA — Twenty-six years after she was blamed for her infant half brother's death, Tracy Rhame finally got what she wanted Friday--her name cleared and her father convicted of murder.
Jan Barry Sandlin was immediately sentenced to life behind bars for the 1971 beating death of 4-month-old Matthew Golder.
Prosecutors say Sandlin placed his then-2-year-old daughter, Tracy, in the baby's crib and made it look as if she had tossed him out.
The frame-up went undetected during initial investigations, which deemed the death an accident. It wasn't until Rhame was an adult that nagging doubts led her to push to have the case reopened.
The 46-year-old Sandlin, who is already serving a life sentence in Florida for armed robbery, was indicted in December after a new autopsy on Matthew's exhumed body found his injuries inconsistent with a fall from a crib.
The jury convicted Sandlin of murder, aggravated assault and child cruelty.
"I think it's wonderful, absolutely," Rhame, 27, said by phone from her home in Savannah.