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New Trial Ordered in 1971 Slaying

July 24, 1998

ATLANTA (AP) _ A man convicted in the 1971 slaying of an infant will get a new trial because his lawyer failed to ask about autopsy photographs that indicate the death was accidental, a judge ruled Friday.

Superior Court Judge Hilton Fuller ruled that the lawyer for Jan Barry Sandlin, convicted in September of killing his ex-wife’s 4-month-old son, was ineffective.

The trial will be Sandlin’s third. A mistrial was declared at his first trial.

Sandlin _ who is also serving a life sentence for a robbery in Florida _ escaped prosecution for Matthew Golder’s slaying by blaming the death on his then 2-year-old daughter.

Sandlin said his daughter threw the baby from the crib, but the daughter, now 28 years old, got the case reopened in 1995.

Fuller ruled Sandlin’s defense attorney was ineffective because she failed to call a pathologist to testify about the photographs of the child’s autopsy.

The photographs of the 1971 autopsy showed bruises and stress fractures that indicate the death was accidental, according to a coroner. The photographs surfaced just recently.

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