ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (AP) — Prosecutors have dropped charges against an Alexandria man who served six years in prison for the death of his infant daughter.

Michael Hansen had been released from prison in August and was preparing for a new trial.

But in a statement Friday, the Douglas County Attorney’s Office said it “no longer believes that it can prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

A jury found Hansen guilty in 2006 of second-degree murder in the death of his 4-month-old daughter, Avryonna. The baby died in 2004.

But a judge in July overturned Hansen’s conviction based on evidence presented by the Innocence Project of Minnesota, which argued independent medical experts found that the baby likely died of accidental suffocation while she slept.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports the new trial had been scheduled to begin Sept. 26.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (3)
  1. Jack Anderson says:

    This situation upsets me no end. In my opinion, bottom line, this decision, in effect, thumbs its nose at our entire criminal justice system. This guy was tried and convicted by a jury of his peers. That’s what our forefathers admirably put in place and most of us truly want to believe in. If there was question, I can wholeheartedly accept a decision that a retrial was warranted. But for an individual, a County Attorney, to have the authority to indivdually overrule a due process decision makes me very, very nervous, concerned, and immensely disheartened about what has been allowed to evolve! Likely I am as guilty as most everyone else in witnessing the steady decline of a splendid framework gifted to us by the founders of our country and doing nothing about it.

  2. no system is perfect says:

    The judge overturned the conviction, and the county attorney decided that there was not enough evidence to convict him in a retrial. How is that a failure of the justice system? Was he supposed to go to trial with no hope of conviction? You mourn a supposed decline in the effectiveness of “a splendid framework” yet assume a defendant is guilt. Do you have more facts about this case than the article presents? Our justice system recognizes its own imperfection and and has in place a system of appeals so that mistakes can be addressed. Can you say in which instance a mistake was made? If he was guilty it is certainly tragic, but our system is based on the idea that it is better to let a possibly guilty defendant go free when there is uncertainty rather than jail the possibly innocent. Sometimes that seems to suck, but it doesn’t mean that the system is broken.

  3. John Munz says:

    I am the author of the book “In the Worst Interest” it is the only way I can offer testimony for the sufferage at the hands of the Ramsey County Child Protection System.

    Since 2000 I have heard numerous rumours of the arrest and conviction of my former social worker. In 2010 I was told by the IRS that moneys paid in 2008 was for child tax credits I was due, which covered the entired period including the period that my rights where terminated.

    Something very wrong has occurred and with the fact it was considere to be career suicide for any lawyer to represent a birth farther or any “Non-Custodial” parent the Minnesota Bar has failed not only birth parents, but the family and most importantly the child in a selfish and vindective ideology that was of no merit.

    Yes, child abuse and domistic vilolence is a real problem, but it is not something of what the men do to the women. It is something caused by one person making a very poor and violent discion to control another through any amount of force they can get away with.

    I was never charge tried or convicted, my rights for my childern was removed to satified the wishes of my first wife who was suffering from serious mental health issues and my attempt to get the help we needed was greeted with a leathal attack againt me and our daughters that I was able to stop, but I had no choice to answer the violence with a deree of force that was nesseccary to protet everyone, yet cause no injuries to anyone.

    I have been able to work as a nurse in the medical needs foster and group home system in both Ramsey and Hennipen Counties, even was on the Katie Poirer Search in 1999.

    Our systems inprefection occurs when we focus on the emotions of a given case rather than the facts. I lost my rights to my daughters not by the facts of the case, but by what the social workers and the supporting individuals, i.e. foster mother, Guarian ad-liten, and others used against me had done so because of what their dad’s did to them so they demanded in court to “Error on the side of safety, rather than to give a father the chance to prove his ability.”

    Yes there is more to ths story and it s in the book, outside of my learning additional information that came my way of he conviction of te Ramsey County Social Worker for his criminal misconduct, but even then I have only learned through rumours amd the repayment of 13 years of child tax credits that the IRS was court ordered to pay.

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