Following is a verbatim release appauding the Mississippi Supreme Court's decision to order a new trial in the murder conviction of then-13-year-old Tyler Edmonds, accused of helping his half-sister pull the trigger to help kill her husband. Notice the part where the state medical examiner determined that two fingers pulled the trigger—although the murder rifle was never recovered. Hmmm.
Today the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Tyler Edmonds who was 13 years old when charged with 1st degree murder of his half sisters husband, Joey Fulgham. Tyler was convicted with no forensic evidence other than a false confession he made after his half sister begged him to lie for her. Tyler recanted the confession a couple of days later. Tyler's half sister, Kristi Fulgham was convicted in December 2006 for Joey Fulgham's murder and sentenced to death.
The Mississippi Supreme court agreed that Dr. Stephen Hayne, who performed the autopsy on Joey Fulgham, over-reached beyond his area of expertise when he stated that two fingers pulled the trigger of the 22-caliber rifle used to kill Joey Fulgham. The Supreme Court found that Dr. Haynes testimony was scientifically unfounded but carried heavy weight with jurors. The rifle was never recovered.
Justice for Juveniles advocates nationwide applauds the wise decision of the Mississippi Supreme court. Cari Barichello, Co-administrator of the nationwide online children's advocate group justiceforjuveniles.org said " To say we are extremely pleased over today's ruling is an understatement to say the least. Tyler has remained one of our largest priorities since his nightmare began at age 13, because we believe that Tyler is also a victim of Kristi Fulghams, just as Joey was." Barichello says that Tyler has stayed positive because of his Christian faith and love from his many friends, family and supporters throughout his incarceration. "While incarcerated, Tyler has done an excellent job of staying focused on his education so he will be prepared to become a contributing, responsible adult once he is given the opportunity and regains his freedom", Barichello said.
Donna Gallegos of Justiceforjuveniles.org said " While this is a joyous day for Tyler and those who love and support him, His defense team and his advocates have their work cut out for them." Gallegos hopes that experts will offer up their expertise in Tyler's second trial to assist him in obtaining justice. Experts such as a jury consultant and other experts can make a huge difference for this child", Gallegos said.
Oktibbeha County, Mississippi officials will decide in the next several days if the 2nd trial will be held in the same county or moved to a different county. "It is questionable as to the ability of obtaining a fair trial for Tyler in Starkville, Ms. because of media publicity and because of Tyler's defense and the prosecutors public debate concerning Tyler", Gallegos said.