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Appeals court upholds child care provider's conviction in '07 death

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A gavel sits in the Luke Air Force Base courtroom By U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Grace Lee [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
A gavel sits in the Luke Air Force Base courtroom By U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Grace Lee [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A state appeals court said no to dropping a reckless homicide conviction against a Madison-area child care provider in the death of a four-year-old boy in 2007.

The Fourth District Appellate Court ruled Thursday that Jennifer Hancock was properly found guilty.

She was sentenced three years ago to 13 years behind bars. That was after an autopsy found that young Lincoln Wilber died from “non-accidental abusive head trauma” at Hancock’s care facility in Verona.

She said Dane County prosecutors should not have been allowed to cross-examine her expert witness about articles related to infant trauma – because they were written by people who were not at the trial.

But the appellate judges said if there was a procedural error, it would have not made any difference in the final verdict.

Hancock originally told police she found the child unresponsive when she checked on him – and she had no idea why he might have died. 

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