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Woman Freed In Baby’s Death: ‘I’m Not Bitter’

Dana Kozlov Dana Kozlov
Dana Kozlov is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago. She...
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(CBS) – Jennifer Del Prete spent a decade without her children because she was convicted of killing someone else’s baby.

She’s now free because of evidence never turned over at her 2005 trial.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov talked with her about what lies ahead.

Del Prete still maintains her innocence.

It’s something the 43-year-old claimed from day one of this ordeal. From that day in 2002 that she found a three-month-old baby in her care unresponsive.

“That was someone that I cared for,” Del Prete says.

But Will County prosecutors didn’t believe her and Del Prete was convicted of killing the child — by shaking her — and sent to prison in 2005. This week, she walked out free on bond into the arms of one of the two children she was forced to leave behind.

“I’m not bitter about anything,” she says. “I think this has humbled me.”

Now, she and her attorney believe new evidence, discovered by the Medill Justice Project, will prompt a judge to, at the very least, grant her a new trial.

Her attorney, Patrick Blegen, says the evidence was a letter from a detective to a physician, saying the coroner who performed the autopsy had doubts this was s shaken-baby case.

He says evidence also shows the baby had a pre-existing medical condition that may have led to her death.

A spokesperson for the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office says they did not support Del Prete’s release on bond. He says prosecutors never had a copy of the letter mentioned, adding they remain confident in the original prosecution of this case.