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Conviction Is Voided After 21 Years in Prison

August 11, 2004|From Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego man imprisoned for 21 years for the killing of a 2-year-old boy was freed Tuesday after a recent review of medical evidence raised doubts about the case.

Prosecutors said last week that Kenneth Marsh, 49, deserved a new trial because the evidence cast doubt on whether the boy, his girlfriend's son, was a victim of child abuse.

"He'll be seeing the stars tonight for the first time in 21 years," Marsh's attorney, Thor Emblem, said after a judge Tuesday set aside Marsh's conviction.

Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis must now decide whether to retry the case. She opposed efforts two years ago to set aside Marsh's conviction, but changed her mind after she hired an independent forensic pathologist to review the case.

Marsh has always maintained his innocence, and the boy's mother, Brenda Buell Warter, has supported him.

He told police he was baby-sitting when he heard a crash from another room and found Phillip in front of a brick hearth.

Detectives determined that the boy died from a fall, but doctors from Children's Hospital said he was beaten.

Marsh left Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego on Tuesday night.

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