Ryan's lawyer, Charlie Rittgers, believed that they had more than enough reasonable doubt. For observers who watched this trial unfold it became apparent that the prosecution did not have a specific theory as to how Sarah died. In the midst of the trial the prosecution changed a significant document that outlined the allegations against Ryan. That document, the bill of particulars, originally stated that Ryan was accussed of drowning Sarah in the bathtub. The prosecutors ammended that document during the trial to alledge that Ryan could have drown her in the bathtub, the toilet or in the sink. That led Ryan's attorneys to argue that Ryan had been prosecuted despite no solid theory. After the trial, jurors struggled with their decision for 23 hours before coming back with a guilty verdict. After Ryan was sent to prison it was discovered that jurors completed at home tests on drying time. They discussed their findings with the entire jury and it influenced jurors decisions on voting guilty. Judge Bronson threw out the guilty verdict and said Ryan was entitiled to a new trial.
Ryan's new set of lawyers poked holes in the prosecutions case by pointing out discrepancies in records. One juror, Janet Caywood, thought it would be a quick deliberation because there was no way the evidence was beyond a resonable doubt. However jurors deliberated for more than 30 hours before resigning themselves to the fact that they were deadlocked and unable to reach a unanimous decisi
Prior to trial 3, Ryan was adamant about refusing a manslaughter plea that would have gotten him out of prision in 5 years. He wouldn't admit to something he didn't do. Ryan has protested his innocence since the beginning and has never waivered.
After spending more than $250,000 on his defense, Ryan was limited on how many experts he was allowed to call on his behalf. Several rulings by the judge prevented the defense team from questioning Detective Braley and suppressing the bathtub. Jurors were seen taking fewer notes than previous jurors, causing some people to suspect the jurors had already made up their minds about Ryan before considering all of the evidence. One juror was also allowed to remain impanled despite the defense team receiving allegations that the juror made comments betraying predudice against Ryan before all of the evidence was in.
In 2015 Ryan's attorney, Michele Berry Godsey, filed a habeas corpus petition. In the appeal, Godsey, is arguing six assignments of error and over a dozen grounds for relief. U.S. Disctrict Judge Timothy Black is currently reviewing the appeal. He could make his decison any day.