Home » Who is Albert Debelbot? (Couple are cleared after 12 years in jail for newborn’s death because of ‘gross misstatement’ by prosecutor as defense insists baby’s fatal head injuries )Wiki, Bio, Age, Instagram, Twitter & Quick Facts
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Who is Albert Debelbot? (Couple are cleared after 12 years in jail for newborn’s death because of ‘gross misstatement’ by prosecutor as defense insists baby’s fatal head injuries )Wiki, Bio, Age, Instagram, Twitter & Quick Facts

Albert Debelbot

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Who is Albert Debelbot?

A Georgia military couple who spent more than 12 years in prison for murder convictions stemming from the death of their newborn daughter finally had their case thrown out on Tuesday, more than a year after the state’s highest court dismissed the guilty verdicts.

Ashley Debelbot, 37, said the meaning of what happened was only understood when the district attorney approached her in court and apologized to her.

‘For the district attorney to come up to me and reach out his hand and apologize to her, at the time I was like,’ This is happening, ” she said.

The case was dismissed in March 2020 not because of new evidence, but because of statements the prosecutor made at trial, to which the attorneys for Ashley and Albert Debelbots at the time did not object.wikipedia

Dismiss Charge couple for lack of evidence

In April, Columbus District Attorney Mark Jones asked Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Art Smith to dismiss the charges against the couple for lack of evidence.

The Debelbots, who had been out on bail for six months, held a press conference after the hearing, offering differing views on their situation, with Ashley saying she was not bitter and her husband demanding justice, as WTVM reported last month. .

“It should never have been taken from the start,” Albert visibly annoyed told reporters. ‘We lost 12 years of being apart. Let’s ask the best question. What is the state going to do for us?

The Debelbots brought baby McKenzy home two days after her birth in May 2008. About 12 hours later, they said, they woke up in the middle of the night, noticed a lump on her forehead, and rushed back. to hospital.


McKenzy died hours later. His parents were arrested the next day.

The couple’s attorneys argued that baby McKenzy’s injuries occurred naturally and her parents are victims of a 12-year rush to judgment. The original prosecutor remains convinced of her guilt.

The Debelbots met in South Korea while in the Army. Ashley was already pregnant and planning to leave the military to be a full-time mother when they moved to Columbus, Georgia, in March 2008 for Albert’s position at Fort Benning.

The Georgia US military couple were convicted in 2009 of murdering her baby McKenzy just days after her birth, but they denied hurting her.

McKenzy was born on May 29 and died around 4 a.m. on June 1.

During her 2009 trial, a state medical examiner, Dr. Lora Darrisaw, testified that McKenzy suffered “very severe head trauma” that resulted in skull fractures, swelling and bleeding of the brain. She ruled that the injuries were not accidental, “more consistent with a type of crushing force.”

Her testimony was not refuted.

Ashley and Albert testified that they were anxious new parents. They both said they didn’t hurt McKenzy.

Melvin Tarver, who had been in a holding cell with Albert on the first day of the trial, testified that Albert said he had gone out looking for ‘drugs’ that night and when he returned Ashley said that he had spanked the baby and put it on . to the bed. Both Debelbots testified that they slept McKenzy together.

The jury convicted them and Judge Doug Pullen sentenced them to life in prison.

The couple spent years seeking a new trial, arguing that McKenzy’s injuries could not have been caused by forceful force.

Coroners and other physicians often take on abuse too quickly when a baby dies, said Carrie Sperling, Albert’s post-conviction attorney.

The “lynchpin” of the state’s case was that McKenzy was healthy when she left the hospital, said A. James Anderson, Ashley’s attorney after conviction.

“If you take out the axle, her case collapses,” he said.

Ashley and Albert had been sentenced to life in prison and spent more than 12 years in prison

Alternative explanations were provided by Dr. Daniel Sahlein during hearings on motions for a new trial: Blood clots formed in McKenzy’s brain before birth, blocking the circulation of blood and cerebrospinal fluid and causing bleeding.

That created pressure that pushed against the developing skull, which was abnormally thin and malformed in places, Sahlein said. The birthing process further damaged the skull and caused bleeding under the scalp.

McKenzy may have seemed fine in the hospital before taking a sudden turn at home, Dr. Peter Dehnel testified.

But defense experts also testified that there were warning signs at the hospital: McKenzy ate much less than normal on his second day, and his head circumference increased at a rate 10 times greater than normal.

The medical examiner described the right side of McKenzy’s brain as “soft and squishy.” But a blunt force injury should have left his brain swollen and firm, Dehnel testified. He also noticed that he had no bruises on his head.

Defense experts said parts of McKenzy’s brain and skull appeared to be missing. Darrisaw, the medical examiner, turned it down.

Two other doctors the state called said hospital records showed McKenzy was normal and healthy when he was discharged.

Dr. Joseph Zanga said the head exam was performed properly and revealed nothing abnormal.

The trauma that occurred before birth or during delivery “would not have allowed this child to appear completely normal for two or more days,” Zanga testified.

Dr. Susan Palasis compared McKenzy’s injuries to typical car accidents. She also disputed the defense’s claims that CT scans showed developmental abnormalities.

“The evidence supports a guilty verdict,” said the original prosecutor, Sadhana Dailey, in a recent interview.

Judge Arthur Smith denied the request for a new trial.

But the Georgia Supreme Court overturned it in February 2020, ruling that the Debelbots were entitled to a new trial.

During her closing argument, Dailey told the jury that reasonable doubt “does not mean a mathematical certainty.”

Which means we don’t have to prove that 90%. You don’t have to be 90% sure. You don’t have to be 80% sure. You don’t have to be 51% sure, ”she said.

The superior court said it was “an egregious misstatement of the law” and said the Debelbots did not receive a fair trial because their lawyers did not object.

Ashley, pictured above during her time in the military, hopes to have hers of her own food truck and eventually a restaurant.

Mark Jones, who became a district attorney in Columbus in January, said he reviewed the available evidence. With limited resources and many recent murder cases, he decided not to go ahead with an old case with a high probability of acquittal.

At last month’s hearing to dismiss the charges, Jones apologized that the Debelbots did not get a fair trial.

Albert said Jones’s apology was appropriate.

‘It’s enough? Surely I don’t think so, ‘he said.

Now free of criminal charges, the Debelbots are struggling to make a fresh start.

Ashley works in customer service for an insurance company, but dreams of having her own food truck and eventually a restaurant.


Albert, 35, is from the Pacific island of Palau. Due to complications in proving his legal residency, he has been unable to obtain photo identification, making it difficult for him to reestablish him.

They both said that his faith in the judicial system is destroyed. They also said they never had a chance to mourn McKenzy’s death.

A teddy bear with a compartment on the back contains McKenzy’s ashes. Ashley hugs the bear now and cries, thinking of her daughter who would have turned 13 this month.

“I would have a teenager,” Ashley said, her eyes turning wistful as she looked at two pictures of the newborn McKenzy on the wall. “Who knows how many more children she would have had by now.”

Albert Debelbot Quicks and Facts

  • Ashley and Albert Debelbot had their murder case formally dismissed on Tuesday, a year after Georgia Supreme Court overturned convictions 
  • Debelbots spent more than 12 years in prison for the death of their newborn baby daughter, McKenzy Debelbot, in May 2008
  • Convictions were tossed over statements the prosecutor made at trial, to which  Debelbots’ lawyers at the time failed to object
  • Prosecutor told jury  
  • Debelbots denied inflicting blunt force trauma on their infant daughter 
  • Expert for the defense argued the baby suffered from brain deformity  

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