Michael was accused and convicted of that beating. Annmarie Kotowski cannot tell anyone who beat her. She says she can’t remember who the perpetrator is. But she did acknowledge that Michael O'Laughlin was NOT her assailant. Click here for more detail
The evidence against Michael was painfully flimsy and barely circumstantial. It consisted of a baseball bat found in a vacant area covered in leaves and debris with Michael’s name engraved on it.
The police stated that the probable motive for Ms. Kotowski’s beating was robbery. They claimed that Michael was looking for drug money. If that was the case, it seems incredible that the police would also note that NOTHING was taken from Ms. Kotowski. Her purse held several dollars in it, her jewelry, worth thousands of dollars, was not touched, nor was there anything else missing from her home (except the little bat she kept under her bed for protection). Click here for more detail
Michael had three well paying jobs working 60+ hours every week. He was paid by one job the evening of the crime and had immediately sent off $200.00 for child support for his two young daughters. This is hardly an act of a drug-crazed crack fiend. It is the act of a responsible father who loves his children and takes care of them. Michael had, in his apartment, $250.00 in cash the police admitted was his money, and a check for $72.00 he received for work from his church. This would have been more than enough money to purchase drugs if that was Michael's intention.
Because of a lack of funds, Michael didn’t have the ability to hire a lawyer. The court appointed his lawyer. The lawyer assigned lacked the knowledge, skills, and the spirit to defend Michael's case properly. Click here for more detail
These are a few of the certainties that occurred at Michael’s trial:
1. The judge denied two motions regarding the reliability of DNA testing
2. The judge allowed the prosecutor to knowingly introduce false testimony at Michael’s trial.
3. The judge withheld the Defense from introducing evidence seized at the scene of the crime.
4. The State Crime Lab contaminated blood evidence which would have shown the victim's blood
was not on the "alleged" weapon.
5. The State Crime Lab presented inconclusive DNA results, which if presented properly would
have shown the "alleged" weapon was not the weapon used in the crime..
6. The judge allowed the prosecutor to exhibit false evidence to the jury.
7. The victim (and her husband) lied on the witness stand, which was confirmed by two other
witnesses close to the victim (her sister and a close friend).
8. The prosecutor lied in his closing statement knowingly misstating evidence he knew to be false.
9. The judge was quoted both before and after the trial that the victim was beaten with a baseball
bat, even though there was no proof that a baseball bat was the weapon used in the crime.
Michael had never been convicted of a crime or incarcerated prior to his arrest for the assault on Ms. Kotowski. He was given one of the stiffest sentences handed down in the Berkshires, a sentence greater then if he had committed murder. Click here for more detail
Michael continues to serve his time in prison for a crime he did NOT commit, while the real criminal continues to walk the streets a free man. Many, many questions remain unanswered about this case, answers that would free Michael O'Laughlin. Click here for more detail