Mullins-Johnson happy after AG calls for acquittal
A Toronto man convicted of killing his niece, in part with findings by pathologist Dr. Charles Smith,says news that the province's attorney general is calling for his acquittal is a "good step."
Asked how he felt, Mullins-Johnson replied, "Very, very pleased."
Mullins-Johnson spent 12 years in jail after he was convicted in 1994 of killing his four-year-old niece Valin, despite the fact that no forensic evidence linked him to the crime.
The conviction was reached based on testimony from pathologists, including former Toronto pathologist Dr. Charles Smith.
The Ontario government has ordered a full public inquiry into the work of Smith after his conclusions in 20 child autopsies were called questionable in a coroner's review.
William Mullins-Johnson's case is one of the 13 cases among those flagged that resulted in criminal convictions.
Smith, once a leading forensic child pathologist, conducted more than 1,000 child autopsies during his time at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.
'Building a life for myself'
"The anger [over the conviction] is there, but it's not right there right now. I'm feeling quite happy," Mullins-Johnson told CBC News in an interview Friday afternoon. "They're really acknowledging that I didn't do this, so it's a good step."
Mullins-Johnson was released from custody in 2005 after evidence surfaced that Smith had lost tissue samples that could have shown the four-year-old died of natural causes.
For now, he refuses to think about how his life has been irreversibly altered, instead focusing on thefuture.
"I have a lot of good things going on in my life right now that I'm pleased with, which I'm going to continue on with, like school, making friends and building a life for myself," he said.
The Ontario governmentis supporting Mullins-Johnson's request for a review of his conviction by the federal justice minister.
'Mr. Mullins-Johnson should ultimately be acquitted'
"The conviction in this case cannot stand and Mr. Mullins-Johnson should ultimately be acquitted by the Ontario Court of Appeal," Attorney General Michael Bryant said.
The boy's death was originally ruled a crib death, but Smith's autopsy concluded that the baby had a fresh skull fracture and broken arm.
In another case, Sherry Sherrett of Trenton was convicted in 1999 of killing her four-month-old son Joshuabased on evidence fromSmith's autopsy. A later autopsy found the boy had died of natural causes.
Smith is believed to be living in B.C.
With files from the Canadian Press