MANSFIELD, Ohio – An Ohio couple accused of not immediately getting proper medical help for their severely burned 2-year-old son before he died have been placed on six months of probation for child endangerment.
Boiling water spilled and burned the boy over one-third of his body in May 2012, and his parents initially treated him with salve and burdock leaves, a remedy from the Amish community in which his father was raised, The Mansfield New Journal (http://ohne.ws/1eZkSMv) reported.
The toddler, Dalton Keim, was taken to a relative's home the following day for another treatment but went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. By the time he was taken to a hospital, it was too late.
William Keim, 34, and Jenica Keim, 32, didn't address the court at their sentencing Monday, the newspaper reported. They previously pleaded no contest to misdemeanor child endangerment, and prosecutors dismissed more serious charges of reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter under their plea agreement.
Richland County Common Pleas Judge James DeWeese found the couple guilty. In addition to the probation sentence, he also ordered them to write down how they'd handle a similar situation now.
The Keims had an infant in court with them, the newspaper reported.
A defense attorney, John Allen, called Dalton's death tragic and contended the treatment of salve and leaves would have worked if his parents – who are not current members of an Amish community – properly hydrated him under supervision.
"This is a very tragic situation, we believe to be an accident," he said.
Prosecutors had recommended that the Keims receive probation.
"The loss of that child is the worst punishment they could ever receive," first assistant prosecutor Brent Robinson had told the newspaper earlier.