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Man Found Guilty Of 1977 Murder Of Toddler

Last updated on Thursday, June 5, 2014

(INDIANAPOLIS) — A man arrested and charged with murder last year in connection to a 1977 cold case has been found guilty.

Michael Ackerman was found guilty of murder in a bench trial on June 3. In April 2013, the Marion County Prosecutor's Office and IMPD announced Ackerman's arrest in the beating death of 18-month-old William T. (Billy) Wood in 1977. A second degree murder charge was filed.

Court documents state Ackerman was the boyfriend of Wood's mother at the time of the child's death. Ackerman was babysitting Wood and his sister on Jan. 17, 1977 while Wood's mother was at work.

Police say an autopsy was performed on Wood in 1977 and revealed blunt impact injuries to the head and abdomen, several of which were fatal. According to an April 2013 release, those findings had been recently confirmed by independent forensic pathologists who determined the cause of death as homicide.

Officials say a review of the case was initiated when the IMPD Cold Case Homicide Unit was contacted by the victim's sister.

Ackerman will be sentenced August 8.

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