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.