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Jurors get case in bathtub drowning

by on June 25, 2014 12:10 PM

Jurors are to begin deliberations this afternoon in the trial of a woman who is being held responsible for her son's accidental bathtub drowning.

In closing arguments delivered this morning, Senior Assistant District Attorney Geoffrey Kugler told jurors they should convict Tonya Thomas, 27, on all counts. Thomas, he said, was reckless in leaving her 13-month-old son, Ryden Thomas Jr., unattended in the tub.

However, public defender Brad Ophaug said Ryden's death was an accident. And, he said, it was Thomas' husband, Wesley, who failed in this instance, considering that he said he would “keep an ear on" the children while she stepped away.

The attorneys in their case gave their closing arguments after ending testimony earlier this morning.

Prosecutors closed their case by playing an audio recording of a state police interview with Thomas. The defense called one witness, an Indiana County Children & Youth Services employee, who said Thomas had sought the agency's help.

Sam Kusic is a staff writer for The Indiana Gazette.
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