GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — A mother convicted of murdering her newborn twins was sentenced to life in prison. That was nine years ago and most thought that was the end of the road for Lindsey Lowe.
But in a stunning development, a judge ordered Lowe released and that she get a new trial. This is one of the top stories of the past year as Lowe gets another chance in court because of juror misconduct.
The details of the criminal case were shocking.
Lindsey Lowe stood trial in 2013 accused of smothering her newborn twins to death after giving birth in the bathroom of her Sumner County home. In a confession played for the jury, Lowe revealed the babies were both secretly born in the toilet before they died.
She was questioned by detectives.
"I guess I just put my hand over the mouth. And how long did you keep the hand over the mouth? A few minutes. A few minutes? Until the baby no longer cried? Um hm."
The jury convicted Lowe on two counts of first degree murder and sentenced her to life in prison.
But now nine years later, Lowe is free awaiting a new trial.
In a stunning development, her defense attorney Kim Hodde presented evidence that a juror was biased against Lowe. At a hearing, she told Judge Dee Gay that Lowe did not get a fair trial because the juror had an agenda to convict her.
"You're saying she lied under oath. That's what you're saying and that's what the proof is. I believe it is," Judge Gay said.
Here's the proof.
The juror in question answered a questionnaire -- taken under oath - asking if she had formed an opinion about Lowe.
Her answer: That Lowe lied and killed her two newborns.
"It is the most striking, direct, harmful prejudicial biased answer a juror can give," said Hodde.
And here's the problem: The court record shows, the same juror was later questioned again under oath by the DA during actual jury selection at the courthouse. She again is asked if she had an opinion if Lowe is guilty or not?
This time the answer is no.
The juror was not excused despite the contradiction anyone caught at the time. Lowe's father remembers the woman's reaction when she learned she made the jury.
"She goes yes and looks around to see if anyone saw her," said Mark Lowe.
Judge Gay says he had no choice but to grant Lowe a new trial writing in his order: Juror 17 was untruthful and possibly lied outright about her preconceived opinion.
The possibility of prejudice cannot be ignored especially when Lowe is serving two life sentences.
"The order is suggesting the court is granting a new trial for her based upon the constitutional concerns the court has for the juror not giving a truthful answer and contaminating the process," said Hodde.
So Lowe is no longer a convicted killer. The judge ordered her immediately released from prison while she awaits a new trial, which likely will not happen for at least a year.
The Sumner County District Attorney did appeal the judge's order for a new trial.
That motion will not be heard for several months.