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400-Lb Man Not Guilty After Boy Asphyxiates Under Him

Donald Martin had originally pleaded guilty
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2018 1:40 PM CDT
The boy was pinned between the arm of a couch and Donald Martin.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Donald Martin Jr. pleaded guilty to reckless homicide in April in connection with the death of his 11-year-old grandson. On Monday, a judge ruled the Mount Orab, Ohio, man was innocent. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Martin in June withdrew his guilty plea, and Brown County Judge Scott Gusweiler found the case didn't meet the state's definition of recklessness, which requires a disregard for the risks and consequences of one's actions.

In pinning Dylan Martin-Davis between his body and the arm of a couch to calm the boy down on Nov. 17, 2017, Gusweiler wrote that he found no proof the 58-year-old was aware the position could cause death; WLWT describes the position as Dylan being put over the arm of the couch, with Martin then on top of him. Dylan, who Fox8 reports weighed 90 pounds, died of asphyxiation. The child's father disagrees with the ruling, telling the Enquirer, "How do you kill a child and walk free? How can you pin a child down—my understanding is for five to 10 minutes—and not know what you're doing?" (Read more child death stories.)

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