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September 17, 2013

Murder case against Isaac Whaley dismissed

District Attorney Bert Poston today presented a motion to Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris seeking to enter a “Nolle Prosequi” or dismissal order on the murder indictment against Isaac Whaley.

Whaley, 28, was indicted by the Murray County grand jury on Jan. 18, 2012, for felony murder and cruelty to children in the second degree in connection with the death of his four-month old daughter, Jaidyn Whaley, on Nov. 19, 2010. The indictment alleges that Whaley caused injuries to his daughter by shaking her and that she died as a result of those injuries. The case had been scheduled to be tried before a jury during the week of Oct. 21 before Judge Morris.

Earlier this month, defense counsel for Whaley disclosed to the district attorney for the first time that Whaley had passed a polygraph examination in 2012 shortly after the indictment was returned. The examination was conducted by a retired Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent. Late last week, this agent agreed to meet with the district attorney, with Chief Assistant District Attorney Scott Minter, who manages the Murray County Office, and with Special Agent Joe Montgomery of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who worked the case and who had presented the evidence to the grand jury. At the meeting, it was determined that the polygraph results were both reliable and exculpatory.

In Georgia as in many other states, polygraph results are not admissible in evidence unless the examination is stipulated or agreed to by both the state and the defense prior to the administration of the test. The 2012 polygraph examination therefore could have been excluded from the jury’s consideration had the case proceeded to trial as planned next month. Nevertheless, given the particular circumstances of the 2012 polygraph examination and the particular credibility of the examiner, it would be unfair and unjust to proceed to trial against Mr. Whaley. The medical evidence in the case, while compelling, is now directly contradicted by the polygraph results.


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