Accident Leads to Homicide Case for Pool Company Exec
He is charged with manslaughter after boy dies
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2011 4:55 PM CDT
The case could lead to better attention to safety features in swimming pools.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The president of a swimming pool company has pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide after a 6-year-old boy drowned in one of his pools that lacked a safety feature, reports the Wall Street Journal. The unusual case sets a precedent that could result in two trends: More prosecutions like this and safer swimming pools. "For heaven's sake, it's a criminal case," says one pool-equipment distributor. "It sends the message that 'Holy cow, we'd better know what we're doing here, because there are serious implications if we don't.' "

David Lionetti of Shoreline Pools in Connecticut could have gotten 10 years in prison had he been convicted of the original manslaughter charge. Instead, his plea means he gets probation and community service, and must make a $150,000 donation to a pool-safety group. The boy drowned in an accident known as entrapment: He got trapped under water by the suction of the pool's drain. A safety device that would have shut the drain off under such circumstances had not been installed.