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Brown County man found not guilty in boy's smothering death

Posted: 1:19 PM, Sep 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-19 17:19:58Z

GEORGETOWN, Ohio -- A Brown County judge found the Mount Orab man charged in the death of his 11-year-old step-grandson not guilty this week.

Donald Martin Jr., 58, had been facing a charge of reckless homicide after authorities said Martin, a 400-pound man, smothered the mildly autistic boy while trying to restrain him last November.

The coroner found the boy died of asphyxiation. 

Judge Scott Gusweiler ruled Monday that, based on the evidence, law and arguments made by attorneys, there was reasonable doubt as to whether Martin had acted recklessly.

Martin had previously pleaded guilty, but later withdrew the plea, claiming he was impaired by fear and panic. 

Brown County sheriff's Sgt. Chad Noble previously told the Associated Press that the death was a "tragic accident."