Lawyer: No common sense in boys' drowning

Jan. 31, 2012 at 6:25 PM

ZANESVILLE, Ohio, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Prosecutors argue the parents of two young boys who drowned in an Ohio river last summer should be convicted of manslaughter.

Kasey L. Klein, 25, and Richard H. Klein Jr., 38, were charged in September with two counts each of child endangerment and involuntary manslaughter in the June 4 drownings, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported Tuesday.

The boys, Ayden Leroy Cecil, 3, and his half-brother Anthony Joseph Tullius, 2, disappeared from the tent the family shared about 25 feet from the water at Muskingum River State Park. Cecil's body was found in the river, though Tullius' never was.

"The deaths of these two boys could have been avoided had the defendants in this case ... used common sense and upheld their responsibility as adults and parents," Robert Smith, Muskingum County assistant prosecutor, said at the couple's trial Monday.

"It's one of those things all of us who consider ourselves good and diligent parents fear the most, that moment when your eyes are closed and you're not looking and tragedy strikes, said Rachel Troutman, who is part of the Klein's defense team.

"But for most of us, after that moment of fear, we get that moment of relief and you thank your lucky stars you get to see your children again and everything's OK. But the Kleins, they didn't get that moment of relief. But that doesn't make them guilty of a crime."

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