Texas Court Stops First Execution of 2019 Following Changes in Bite-Mark Science

Blaine MilmanUpdated: 2019/01/15 4:00PM

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stopped what would have been the state’s first execution of the year, instead calling for a lower court to take another look at the case because of changes in bite-mark science since the accused’s initial trial.

29-year-old Blaine Milam was convicted of the brutal death of his girlfriend’s 13-month-old baby girl in 2008. At the time of her death, the 13-month-old had 24 human bite marks on her body and found evidence of blunt force trauma and sexual assault.

At his trial Milam was linked to the murder through bite marks, but his attorneys are arguing that the science has been largely discredited. The prosecutors in this case argued that the state had more than enough evidence to convict Milam without the bite marks citing testimony that Milam told his sister to find a hidden pipe wrench that was believed to be used in the baby’s assault and his confession to a jailhouse nurse.

In addition to the bite mark evidence being questioned, the court is also tasked with looking at Milam’s claims of intellectual disability because there have been changes to how the state determines such a disability since the trial.