William Mullins-Johnson of Sault Ste. Marie was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Valin Johnson after a two and half week trial in September 1994. He was convicted after a jury trial in which Smith’s evidence played a major role in determining the time of death, the cause of death and whether the girl had been sexually assaulted. Mullins-Johnson had babysat Valin, 4, and her 3-year-old brother on the evening of June 26, 1993. When the girl's mother returned home, she did not check on her daughter. At 7 a.m. the next day she found Valin dead in bed.
A local pathologist performed an autopsy on Valin. Then "consultation reports" were sought from Smith and four other specialists, based on tissue samples and other evidence from the autopsy. Smith was the only consultant to conclude Valin was sexually assaulted at the time of death. That contradicted the defence's point that Valin, who had a history of vomiting in bed, might have died of natural causes. The jury convicted, which the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld in 1996. The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed a further appeal in 1998.
Attempts were made to clear his name based on available DNA technology, but the tissue could not be located by Smith, who was given the evidence by the pathologist who did the autopsy, until 2005, 11 years after the trial, when the missing tissue samples turned up in Smith’s office. William Mullins-Johnson was released on bail in 2005, pending review of his case. On July 16, 2007, a report by three expert pathologists (a report written unbeknownst to the lawyers working on his behalf) determined there was no evidence that the girl was sexually assaulted, and the Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant, said that William Mullins-Johnson's conviction “cannot stand” and that he should be acquitted by the appeals court. On October 15, 2007 he was acquitted by the Ontario Court of Appeal.
In 2010, 5 years after he filed a 13-million dollar law suit, he received 4.25 million dollars in compensation settlement from the government of Ontario.
Other related articles:
... William Mullins-Johnson, of Sault Ste ... Mullins-Johnson had babysat Valin, 4, and her 3-year-old brother on the evening of June 26, 1993 ... William Mullins-Johnson was released on bail in 2005, pending review of his case ...
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