Tomorrow will be a week and a day short of 19 years since Gary Thibodeau appeared shocked that an Oswego County jury held him responsible for the kidnapping and assumed death of Heidi Allen. Thibodeau exhausted the usual run of appeals over the years including a filing in Federal Court claiming his constitutional rights had been violated in being convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life. He claimed he was innocent. Tomorrow seven years after those appeals ran out his Federal Public Defender will file the paperwork that could set Gary Thibodeau free.
Attorney Lisa Peebles plans to file her brief with the Oswego County court before noon tomorrow. She will serve a copy directly to the office of the Oswego County District Attorney. The brief will make the claim that Gary Thibodeau was wrongly convicted. It will place before the court the new evidence that developed in 2013 about a narrative that has Heidi Allen being abducted by three men none of whom were named Thibodeau. She has one witness who had the story told to her from one of the men who may have been involved. She has another witness who says Heidi Allen was brought by these men to her property after she was abducted on Easter Sunday, 1994.
There will also be references to aspects of the investigative file that was carefully inspected by the investigator for the Federal Public Defenders office. Some of the claims are likely to run parallel to the Federal Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. That document pointed out problems with the prosecution's case at trial. It included the inability of the District Attorney to share Heidi Allen's diary. Also, the fact that Gary Thibodeau's brother Richard was found not guilty of the same charges even though he was placed as a customer of the convenience store where Heidi was abducted.
And finally, the Thibodeau defense team now has a new scene that is being examined closely as a possible scene of a crime. Current Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes told Thibodeau's counsel that the cadaver dog alerted the search team to two hot spots at the scene of the crumbled cabin in the woods of Mexico.
While the Medical Examiner and Sheriff's investigators return to the cabin in the woods, Gary Thibodeau's public defender will be setting the works in motion for his release from prison twenty years after Heidi Allen disappeared.
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