"He's quite a wacky guy," says Terry McCarthy, who covered the Woodward trial for TIME. "He's also a very no-nonsense judge."
So when Zobel's decision materialises at Lawyers Weekly online — most likely on Wednesday — what's it to be? Will he overturn the murder conviction for the 19-year-old au pair, downgrade it to manslaughter, or do nothing?
Listening to lawyer's arguments Tuesday, Zobel was equally harsh with both sides. However, McCarthy recounts, "he didn't come across as somebody who was happy with the verdict. He looked disturbed."
And no wonder. "The best legal minds in Boston do not think this was a murder," adds McCarthy. And as the "Free Louise" campaign mounted on both sides of the Atlantic Tuesday, so did evidence in the au pair's favor. For example, a prosecution video obtained by the New York Post, showing the mother, Deborah Eappen coaching her first son Brendan to say that Louise killed baby Matthew. But Brendan wouldn't bite. For Woodward's many supporters, it is just another sign that this conviction needs to be thrown out of court. Perhaps Hiller Zobel is their man.