Judge overturns conviction for man accused of killing baby
Friday August 27, 2004
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) A judge ordered a new trial Friday for a father
convicted five years ago of shaking his 10-week-old son to death, citing
problems with the autopsy.

Minutes after the judge ordered the new trial, Alan Yurko pleaded no
contest to manslaughter. Circuit Judge Alan Lawson sentenced him to time
served, allowing Yurko to be released from prison where he had been serving
a life sentence in the death of his son, Alan Ream-Yurko.

Lawson criticized the autopsy conducted by Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner
Dr. Shashi Gore, who ruled the child was shaken to death. He also said the
fact that the autopsy had many problems was newly-discovered evidence.

In February, the state Medical Examiner's Commission barred Gore from
performing autopsies after it ruled he had committed at least eight
mistakes in Alan Ream-Yurko's autopsy. It was the harshest discipline ever
in Florida against a chief medical examiner. The commission did not address
Gore's finding that the infant had been shaken to death, which contributed
to Yurko being sentenced to life in prison.

During a weeklong hearing, Yurko's defense team argued that Alan Ream-Yurko
might have died in 1997 as a result of poor health, adverse reactions to
vaccines and medical-treatment mistakes.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)