INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A man arrested and charged with murder last year in a 1977 cold case was sentenced to life in prison this week.
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced the sentencing of Michael Ackerman on Friday. He was found guilty of murder in June. Last year, 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. Independent forensic pathologists later determined the cause of death as homicide.
Officials say under the applicable law from 1977, Ackerman will serve 20 years at the Indiana Department of Correction before he can be considered for parole at the age of 77.