The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the state of Massachusetts to grant bail to a man convicted of beating an elementary school teacher with a baseball bat.
Justice Stephen Breyer ordered a federal judge to set a "practical amount" of bail and other conditions of release for Michael O'Laughlin.
O'Laughlin was convicted of armed assault with intent to murder, burglary and other charges in the November 2000 attack on Annmarie Kotowski, a teacher in Dalton, Mass. He was tried in 2002.
The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in June that no reasonable jury could have convicted O'Laughlin based on the evidence and ordered his immediate release. State officials asked the Supreme Court to keep him in prison while they appealed or to set bail at $100,000.
Police said Kotowski was struck with an aluminum bat as many as 15 times at her apartment in Lee, Mass. She suffered severe injuries to her face, arms and hands.
During the trial prosecutors presented evidence that O'Laughlin had been smoking crack cocaine and intended to rob Kotowski to get more money for drugs.
O'Laughlin lived two doors from Kotowski and worked as a maintenance man in the apartment complex. Prosecutors said he had a master key to the units in the complex, giving him access to her apartment.