Palmer jury returns split verdict in retrial of man accused in toddler death case
PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - A jury returned a split verdict Tuesday for Clayton Allison, the Wasilla man accused of killing his 15-month-old daughter over seven years ago.
Allison was acquitted of the second-degree murder and manslaughter charges that were leveled against him but was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide, following a 10-day deliberation by the jury.
Allison will be sentenced in June. A release by the Department of Law Tuesday said the sentencing range for that conviction is one to three years, but added that Allison has already served 4.6 years.
The 39-year-old Wasilla resident was accused of murder following the death of his infant daughter Jocelyn in Sept. 2008 and was convicted in 2015 after prosecutors argued she died of shaken baby syndrome.
The conviction was overturned in 2019 after the Alaska Court of Appeals found the court’s ruling to ban evidence of a genetic condition, Ehler’s-Danlos Syndrome, in error.
Both Allison and his wife Christiane Joy have maintained his innocence, arguing that their daughter fell down padded stairs and hit a chair.
The jury for the retrail was selected in early February and prosecutors brought medical experts in to explain the naunces of brain anatomy to the jurors. The defense got the chance to make its arguments in late February.
Assistant District Attorney Krista Anderson thanked the jury for delivering a verdict after 10 days.
“We recognize their thoughtful consideration of the evidence and holding the defendant accountable for the death of his vulnerable child,” Anderson said in a release. “The defense argued that the child had an undiagnosed condition called Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome, but the jury nonetheless found that he had caused her death.”
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