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Dad Pleads No Contest to Homicide

June 5, 2001

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) _ A father whose 2-year-old son froze to death after being left in a pickup truck while the man went hunting pleaded no contest Tuesday to negligent homicide.

Paul Wayment’s plea could bring up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine, but Summit County Attorney Robert Adkins told 3rd District Judge Robert K. Hilder he would not ask for jail time.

Wayment, 37, left his son, Gage, alone in his pickup Oct. 26 while he scouted a private hunting area in northeastern Utah. When Wayment returned to his truck 40 minutes to an hour later, his son had vanished, he said.

After a five-day search that was hampered by a snowstorm, a volunteer rescuer found Gage’s body under 2 to 4 inches of snow. An autopsy determined the boy died from hypothermia.

Adkins said he was satisfied with the no-contest plea.

``I think it would be personally difficult for me to argue for jail time,″ Adkins said. ``He lost his son, and under the circumstances, I’m sure he has suffered.″

Wayment passed a lie detector test in which he denied intentionally leaving the toddler to die, authorities have said.

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