Jury Clears School Coach in Player's Heat Death

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 17, 2009 4:15 PM CDT
In this photo provided by the Gilpin family, Max Gilpin is shown during his 15th birthday party.   (AP Photo/Family Photo via The Courier-Journal)
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(Newser) – A former Kentucky high school football coach has been acquitted in the death of a player who collapsed at a practice where the team was put through a series of sprints on a hot summer day. It was a rare criminal prosecution of a coach in a player's heat-related death. David Jason Stinson was charged after 15-year-old Max Gilpin collapsed at an August 2008 practice. He died three days later.

Players said Stinson ordered the so-called "gassers" as punishment for the lack of effort at practice on a day in which the temperature and heat index were both 94 degrees. The jury reached a verdict after deliberating for less than two hours.