Ohio man cleared in grandson’s asphyxiation death

September 19, 2018

Ohio man cleared in grandson’s asphyxiation death

MOUNT ORAB, Ohio — A man who earlier this year had pleaded guilty to the asphyxiation death of his 11-year-old grandson has been cleared by a judge, according to reports.

Donald “Jake” Martin, 58, of Mount Orab, told authorities he was trying to calm his grandson, Martin Davis, during a tantrum when he laid on top of the child in late 2017. The child was autistic and reportedly had several behavioral disorders, according to WLWT Channel 5.

Martin weighs about 400 pounds, reports say.

According to cincinnati.com, Brown County Judge Scott Gusweiler said in his ruling there was no evidence that Martin knew that he would cause serious harm to his grandchild by laying on him.

The boy’s father, Sam Davis, tells WLWT the judge’s ruling is “a nightmare.”

“How do you kill a child and walk free?” Davis tells WLWT. “How can you pin a child down – my understanding is for five to 10 minutes – and not know what you’re doing?”

Martin had pleaded guilty reckless homicide in April, but withdrew the plea in June. His lawyer, Bruce Wallace, tells cincinnati.com that Martin made the initial guilty plea to avoid putting his family through a trial.

Mount Orab is in southwest Ohio, about 40 miles east of Cincinnati.

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