The Boston Herald reports that a three-judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously concluded that no reasonable jury could have convicted Michael O’Laughlin of beating a Lee teacher almost to death. This was just the latest turn in this case; O’Laughlin was convicted and sentenced to 35-50 years; this conviction was overturned by the Massachusetts Appeals Court in 2005, but reinstated by the Supreme Judicial Court in 2006. Click here to read the opinion of the Court.
The ruling means O’Laughlin will go free and cannot be prosecuted again barring a successful appeal by the state.
O’Laughlin was convicted of armed assault with intent to murder, burglary and other charges in the November 2000 attack on Annmarie Kotowski.
Police said Kotowski was struck with the aluminum bat as many as 15 times.
Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless said he will seek an appeal.