Thibodeau, lawyers await judges' decision after hearing

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - On Monday, a court of appeals listened to the case of an Oswego County man convicted of kidnapping Heidi Allen.

Gary Thibodeau was convicted of kidnapping the girl more than two decades ago.

Thibodeau tried to have his conviction overturned two years ago, claiming that the original jury didn’t see evidence that might have changed their decision.

But an Acting Oswego County Court judge disagreed, upholding the conviction.

Thibodeau's defense team says the judge erred and had their appeal heard Monday in Rochester.

"I'm fairly confident that there was so much new evidence that was not evaluated against the backdrop of the trial evidence that had it been presented to a jury would have changed the outcome,” said his lawyer, Lisa Peebles.
Peebles – is convinced Thibodeau can win this appeal. She says Thibodeau was wrongly convicted.

"Both Gary Thibodeau and his co-defendant brother Richard have always maintained their innocence to law enforcement and prosecution could do no more than guess at some type of motive,” she said.

They are asking the Fourth Department Appellate Division to over turn Thibodeau’s 1994 conviction.

They also heard from Oswego County District Attorney Greg Oakes.

Although there is no timeline on the panel's decision, Oakes estimates they could take as little as two to three weeks to reach a decision but based on all the material in this case it could take much longer.

One of the five judges on the panel, Justice Brian DeJoseph, recused himself at the beginning of Monday's proceeding.

A 2-2 tie could end up leaving the lower court ruling in place keeping Gary Thibodeau in prison.

Allen has never been found.

Her sister, Lisa Buske, is holding out hope for a resolution.

"Truth and Heidi to come home that's what I'll continue to pray for,” she said.
Buske maintains that the guilty party is behind bars.

“I trust the Sheriff's Department and District Attorney,” she said.


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