20 Years in Prison for Child Abuse: Was he Wrongfully Convicted?

April 4, 2018 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
Man grabbing fence
After 20 years behind bars for alleged child abuse, Jim Duncan is getting a second trial!

When Jim Duncan noticed that his infant son, Kody, wasn’t using the left side of his body as well as he used his right, and he seemed to be in pain, he did what any decent parent would – he took his baby to the E.R. But instead of an explanation, Duncan uncovered a horrifying mystery – his son was found to have 13 broken bones and a fractured skull.

Duncan is two decades into his 70 year sentence.

There were no bruises, and nothing to indicate that the baby had been harmed by his parents, but that many broken bones is serious stuff, and doctors looked no further than Duncan for answers. He was immediately charged with child abuse and arrested. Duncan protested, claiming he was innocent and had never hurt his son. It’s a story he’s been telling for 20 years – 20 long years that he’s spent behind bars in a Florida penitentiary. But someone is finally listening.

In February of this year, Duncan and several family members, including Duncan’s ex wife who is Kody’s mother, met to tell their story. Featured in CNN’s “Broken Bones, Shattered Lives” special report, the family is hoping that shedding some light on their case will help them achieve a different outcome. Although the prosecution hasn’t changed their mind about Duncan’s guilt, the man himself hasn’t stopped proclaiming his innocence since day one.

Duncan used to hope he would get out in time to see his kids grow up

But how does he plan to prove it? Duncan is hoping that with new doctors as expert witnesses, a new defense attorney, and new advances in evidence collection and medical science, he can show the court that he is in fact an innocent father. A father who was denied an opportunity to share his children’s childhood with them.

Luckily for Duncan, the Florida Court of Appeals has determined that he should be tried a second time. However, despite a second chance, the outcome may not be what they’re hoping for. Dr. Peter Strouse, director of pediatric radiology at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan was also interviewed for the story. After looking at the x-rays, Dr Strouse said that the findings were consistent with child abuse. He also said he could see no evidence of any bone diseases.

Duncan is facing an uphill battle and an uncertain future!

Kody was a baby when Duncan was convicted and sent to prison. And twenty years later, he missed every part of his children’s lives as they grew up. But interestingly, while the law forbade Kody to visit his father in prison because he was a victim, the two have still maintained a good relationship all this time. They speak on the phone regularly, and hope to have a chance to meet in the future. Still, it’s nerve-wracking to have the future be so uncertain!

Being falsely accused of hurting your child is devastating for a parent. Being forced to serve time in prison for a crime you never committed is indescribable. And yet it is the reality for so many parents, here in Michigan and in other states around the nation. As we’ve explained before, the best way to avoid being wrongly convicted of child abuse or neglect is to have one of the best child abuse defense attorneys on your side! So call The Kronzek Firm today at 866 766 5245 and get the help you need to protect your family and defend your future!