Mr. Koffel’s client accepted a substantial reduction in the charge
from a felony and prison term to a misdemeanor and no jail.
Attorney Brad Koffel represented a 25-year-old mother accused of Child
Endangering and Homicide after her 11-month-old drowned in a bathtub.
Koffel’s client was bathing her two children, the 11-month-old and
a three-year-old, when she stepped away to take a phone call. When she
returned less than a minute later, her youngest child was blue in the
face. Although the baby hung on for a few weeks, she eventually died in
a Columbus hospital from her injuries.
Koffel’s client faced a prison term for charges of Child Endangering
(third-degree felony) and Involuntary Manslaughter (first-degree felony).
During an arraignment hearing, she pleaded not guilty to these felonies.
Several weeks before the case was set for trial, she pleaded guilty to
the lesser charge of negligent homicide (first-degree misdemeanor), enabling
her to avoid prison.
The original charges were amended after an investigation by the Zanesville
Police Department determined that there was no criminal intent. The Franklin
County Coroner also ruled the death of the baby an accident.
Judge Kelly Cottrill, who presided over the case, asked Koffel’s
client if she would like to comment before the sentence was issued. Before
breaking down in tears, she said, “There’s nothing I can say.
She was my daughter and my responsibility.”
During the course of this case, Koffel Brininger Nesbitt learned that approximately
70 children under the age of five accidentally drown in a bathtub when
the caregiver steps away for as little as 20 seconds.
For more on this case, read about it in the
Zanesville Times Recorder.