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New Jersey Supreme Court overturns conviction for murder of mother who was charged with murdering her son decades after his disappearance

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Michelle Lodzinski’s murder conviction was overturned by the New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday by a 4-3 vote due to a lack of proper evidence, according to documents.

“We now hold that after reviewing” all the evidence and after giving the State the benefit of all its favorable evidence and all the favorable inferences drawn from that testimony, “no reasonable jury could find beyond any it is unreasonable that Lodzinsky intentionally or knowingly caused Timothy ‘s death, “Judge Barry Albin wrote.

Lodzinsky was released from prison Tuesday after his lawyer Gerald Krovatin told CNN.

“This was a great day for the rule of law and the principles that matter to us: that convictions should be based on evidence and not on speculation or emotion,” Krovatin said. “I thought the Supreme Court … was right.”

Krovatin said he met with Lodzinsky at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility after his release.

“I don’t think he’s sunk with her yet. He’s very surprised that all this happened to him today. When I first broke the news to him this morning, he just said, ‘My God,’ and he started crying.” said Krovatin. “She’s been in prison for more than seven years in this case. It’s understandable that it’s very emotional for her.”

Lodzinsky reported the disappearance of his five-year-old son Timothy on May 25, 1991, telling police he disappeared at a carnival. Some of his remains were found almost a year later. A forensic doctor could not determine the cause of death.

In August 2014, 23 years after Timmy’s disappearance, Lodzinsky was arrested in Florida on a charge of murder in connection with his death, after a routine review of cold cases triggered a new investigation into the case. A grand jury convicted her of murder in 2016, and Lodzinsky subsequently filed a reconsideration motion, according to court documents.

Albin acknowledged that while Lodzinsky gave “changing accounts of Timothy’s disappearance that called into question her credibility,” she never made an incriminating admission, nor did any forensic evidence link her to the death of her son.

“The search of his house, his car and his rubbish did not lead to any evidence of guilt. No one ever noticed that Lodzinsky abused Timothy,” Albin wrote. He added that the forensic doctor could not determine the cause of Timothy’s death and said: single mother”.

“Even if the evidence suggested that Timothy did not die by accident, no testimony or evidence was offered to distinguish whether Timothy died of negligent, reckless or intentional acts or of knowing a person, even if “This person was Lodzinsky. There is no conviction. Based on speculation or conjecture. We may never know the truth about what happened in this case. The only question is whether the evidence. “They support a conclusion beyond any reasonable doubt that Lodzinsky intentionally or knowingly caused his son’s death. According to this criterion, the conviction cannot be upheld,” Albin wrote.

Three judges disagreed on Tuesday’s opinion, saying they considered Lodzinsky’s acquittal “unjustified and unfair” and “undermined the role of the jury at the heart of our criminal justice system.”

“If any reasonable jury could convict a defendant with the evidence seen and the inferences drawn favorably from the state, the appellate judges must uphold that verdict, no matter how much they disagree,” the dissenting judges wrote.

Lodzinsky has two children still living in Florida, his lawyer said, adding that she is “eager to return as soon as she can.”

CNN’s Hayley Wilson contributed to this report.

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