- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) - A Battle Creek man serving a life sentence for the 1995 fire-related deaths of two young brothers in southern Michigan is seeking a new trial.

The Michigan Innocence Clinic, which is based at the University of Michigan Law School, filed a motion with Calhoun County Circuit Judge James Kingsley and wants a new trial for 47-year-old Andrew Babick Jr., the Battle Creek Enquirer reported (https://bcene.ws/1e7EEpl ).

The attorney general’s office, which prosecuted the case, told The Associated Press it hasn’t seen the motion and couldn’t comment. The court hasn’t yet ordered the office to respond, spokeswoman Joy Yearout said in an email.

A federal appeals court in 2010 refused to overturn the conviction.

Babick was accused of using flammable liquids to start a fire at a house in September 1995 because he was mad at a man who sold him crack cocaine. Babick denied any role. Two adults escaped, but Le’Daryus Fields, 3, and Le’Tonio Briggs, 2, died.

Attorney David Moran of the Michigan Innocence Clinic said evidence of arson was flawed and has since been debunked by fire investigators. He said the fire that killed the children more likely was an accident.

“The understanding of fire investigation at the time of Mr. Babick’s trial and direct appeal was vastly different from scientific consensus that exists in the profession today,” Moran wrote.

Babick is imprisoned at the Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater.

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Information from: Battle Creek Enquirer, https://www.battlecreekenquirer.com

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