Convicted baby killer loses appeal

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GOSHEN – Former Middletown resident Michael Heil, who was convicted of killing his seven-week-old son Zachary, has lost the appeal of his conviction and sentence.

Heil, 31, was convicted in Orange County Court of murder and manslaughter in the baby’s death and was sentenced to 25-years to life in prison.

On August 7, 2016, son Zachary was placed in Heil’s care while the baby’s mother was at work. Heil called 911 saying the child was having trouble breathing shortly before midnight.

The infant was on life support for two weeks before he died.

Heil argued before the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court that the baby’s mother caused his injuries, but it was determined Heil had caused the traumatic head injuries and bruises to the baby’s body.

The appellate court rejected Heil’s contention that the trial court failed to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The appeals court also rejected his contention the trial court erred in denying the jury’s request for written definitions of some of the charges, “as he did not object to the trial court’s denial of that request.”

Heil also objected unsuccessfully that his sentence was excessive.