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Man sentenced to 18 years in prison for the death of his daughter has conviction overturned.

“Just inside this court house anxious family members waited and many tears were shed as both sides made emotional arguments,” is how ABC-7 reporter Vanessa De La Vina began her report in 2013.

On that day a judge sentenced Robert Flores to 18 years in jail after being convicted of reckless child abuse resulting in death and tampering with evidence.

Flores was arrested in 2007 after he left his 4-month-old daughter Kaylynn in a hamper inside the closet while he left to go get beer.

He also didn’t check on his daughter for another 2 hours after that. Kaylynn died of suffocation.

“I know I still miss Kaylynn everyday but at least we got justice for her.” That’s what family members of Kaylynn told ABC-7 crews the day Flores was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

On Wednesday the New Mexico Court of Appeals overturned the ruling. Saying Flores’s right to a speedy trial was violated due to state negligence and administrative burdens.

“There are a number of cases that state how long and what the appropriate time for prosecution should be,” said Flores’ attorney Larry Pickett.

Pickett says it took the courts five years and two months for the case to go to trial.

Flores’s case should have been tried within five years.

Jacinto Palamino was the former prosecutor who won the conviction in 2013.

“I hope the court of appeals decision looks at it and reverses it,” said Palamino.

Las Cruces District Attorney Mark D’Antonio has responded to the appeal sending us ABC-7 statement:

“Today we share with extreme disappointment with the family regarding this recent appellate decision and devastating consequences we have to live with.”

D’Antonio has contacted the attorney general’s office and has urged them to appeal the decision to the New Mexico Supreme court.

ABC-7 also found out Flores is currently working in Albuquerque. He hasn’t served any time in prison.

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