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Lodzinski could be granted a new trial due to ‘juror misconduct’

Staff Writer

NEW BRUNSWICK — A “juror’s misconduct” during deliberations may mean either a new trial for Michelle Lodzinski – who was found guilty in May of murdering her five-year-old son, Timothy “Timmy” Wiltsey, in 1991 – or an acquittal.

Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves said he would take up to 30 days to decide on the motions that Gerald Krovatin, attorney for Lodzinki, argued in court on Aug. 23.

Lodzinksi appeared in court wearing a green T-shirt and pants. She has been held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick since a jury panel of seven men and five women found her guilty of first degree murder on May 18.

The jury had started deliberations on May 12 after a three-month trial; however, the jury foreman was dismissed for personal reasons on May 17.

An alternate juror was selected and the jury started new deliberations the morning of May 18.

Discussed through arguments, the jury foreman had researched Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime scene protocols and the information he researched was discussed among the members of the jury in relation to the credibility of retired FBI Agent Ron Butkiewicz, who investigated the case in 1991 and 1992.

Another juror brought the information through a note to the attention of Nieves.

Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Christie Bevacqua noted that the jury foreman was excused for his own personal reasons because he did not follow his oath as a juror, not for juror misconduct, which Krovatin argued was the case.

Timmy was reported missing the night of May 25, 1991, at a carnival held at Kennedy Park in Sayreville. A massive search for him ensued after Lodzinski told authorities she had only turned her back on Timmy for a few minutes to get a soda at a concession stand when he disappeared.

Timmy’s skeletonized remains were found in the creek off Olympic Drive in Raritan Center in Edison on April 23, 1992.

No arrests were made at the time and the case became cold. An anonymous tip that came into the Crime Stoppers hotline in 2011 about the disappearance of Timmy prompted the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office to re-open the cold case in 2011.

Lodzinski was subsequently indicted on the murder charges in 2014.

Contact Kathy Chang at kchang@gmnews.com.

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