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Law school seeks new trial for mom in daughter’s death


Zeeland – Years later, the University of Michigan law school is seeking a new trial for a western Michigan woman who was convicted of killing her daughter in a house fire.

The school’s Innocence Clinic, which has a long record of digging up new evidence and freeing people who were wrongly convicted, filed a motion last week to reopen the case in Ottawa County.

Karen Boes, 65, is serving a life sentence in the 2002 death of 14-year-old Robin Boes at the family’s home in Zeeland.

The Innocence Clinic claims science cited by fire investigators nearly 20 years ago is outdated. Experts testified that gasoline was sprinkled in a bedroom and hallway before the fire.

“No reasonable jury today would convict Karen Boes if they saw all the evidence,” David Moran, clinic director, told WOOD-TV.

Moran acknowledged that mother and daughter had a stormy relationship but said it’s “not evidence of murder.”

Boes also gave an incriminating interview to police. Moran said it was an “internalized false confession.” She has declared her innocence.

Jon Hulsing, the trial prosecutor who is now a judge, said he stands behind the conviction.