Charges Dropped Against Black Woman, Husband Falsely Convicted of Killing Their Newborn Baby
Ashley and Albert Debelbot of Columbus, Georgia served 12 years in prison after they were falsely accused and convicted of murdering their newborn daughter. However, the Georgia Supreme Court has overturned their convictions and the District Attorney has decided not to retry their case. In fact, the District Attorney even walked over to them during their final courtroom appearance to apologize.
The Debelbots, who met in South Korea while in the Army, moved to Columbus after Ashley became pregnant and decided to retire. They bought a townhouse to prepare for the baby and even nicknamed her Mac before she was even born.
Their daughter was born May 29, 2008 and mysteriously died around 4am about three days later. An autopsy began the next morning, and the Debelbots were arrested that afternoon in what the couple's attorneys say was a "complete rush to judgement."
During their trial, the jury deliberated for about three hours before returning a guilty verdict, and the judge sentenced them both to life in prison.
The couple fought for years seeking a new trial. Their argument was that their baby girl's injuries could not have been caused by blunt force, and that there were warning signs in the hospital, including the fact that she ate far less than normal on her second day and that her head circumference increased at a rate about 10 times greater than normal.
Those arguments finally proved themselves to be true, which led to their case being overturned. They will likely file a lawsuit, but no amount of money could ever return the 12 years of their life that they spent in prison.
Both Ashley and Albert say that their faith in the justice system has been completedly destroyed.