It appears to be a major victory Friday night for an Alabama man in prison on a child murder case. An Alabama appeals court ruled Friday that manifest injustice happened in the case of Medell Banks, Jr.
Medell Banks, Jr., Has spent the last three years behind bars for a crime he says he didn't commit. The Alabama Court of Criminals Appeals agrees with him, and has tossed out his guilty plea in the death of a baby who may have never existed. Banks, his wife Victoria, and her sister in law, Diane Tucker, were arrested for murdering the Banks newborn three years ago.
The three pleaded guilty in the case, despite the fact that a baby was never found, and they claimed it never existed. Their attorney, Rick Hutchinson, now says the three were mentally retarded and pleaded guilty only to avoid life in prison. And a medical report showed that Mrs. Banks had her tubes tied four years before the incident allegedly occurred, and it was physically impossible for her to conceive.
Victoria Banks had claimed she was pregnant, and the murder arrests were made on the testimony of people who said she had the baby. But the court of appeals ruled that couldn't have happened, and withdrew Medell Banks' guilty plea, sending the case back to trial court for further proceedings.
Choctaw County District Attorney Robert Keahey said he will appeal the court's decision to the Alabama Supreme Court, so Banks will remain incarcerated at Draper Prison in Elmore County until the case is finally resolved. Tucker was recently released from prison. Victoria Banks is behind bars at Julia Tutwiler Prison, also in Elmore County.