Man sentenced after 2nd conviction in toddler’s drowning
OTTAWA, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man who withdrew a guilty plea after serving part of a life sentence in the drowning of his 1-year-old son and later was found guilty in a jury trial was sentenced again on Monday.
A court official said a judge in Ottawa sentenced Michael Luebrecht to 20 years to life in prison. A Putnam County jury on Friday found Luebrecht guilty of aggravated murder. Luebrecht and his attorney had argued that medications he took for mental health issues contributed to the killing at his northwestern Ohio home in 2005.
Luebrecht had been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after he pleaded guilty in 2006 in the drowning of his son, Joel.
A message seeking comment was left on Monday for Luebrecht’s attorney.
Luebrecht testified at trial that he did not remember much in the months before his son’s death, but said he clearly recalled killing him.
“There was a mission to kill Joel and that mission had to be done,” he said, describing how he felt like there was an outside force pushing him.
The boy’s mother testified that she blamed doctors who kept changing her husband’s medication that he was taking for depression and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Amy Luebrecht said medications her husband took from 1994 to 2004 were working until his medication was changed.
County Prosecutor Gary Lammers noted that Luebrecht lied several times on the day of his son’s death, including telling a neighbor that the boy fell into a bathtub.