Assistant Prosecutor Reacts to Verdict

by Kelly Choate on February 2, 2012 at 9:49 am

It’s a story that has gripped the area’s attention for months.  Last June 3-year-old Ayden Cecil and 2-year-old Anthony Tullius disappeared from a campsite near Ellis Dam and are believed to have drowned in the Muskingum River.

The children’s mother and stepfather, Kasey and Richard Klein, were put on trial for their deaths, and the jury reached a verdict after five hours of deliberation on Thursday.

The Klein’s were both found guilty of two counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of child endangerment.  Assistant Prosecutor Bob Smith said it was a difficult case because the jury had to determine whether or not a crime was committed, and anytime parents are defendants in cases involving their children, emotions can be hard to handle.

"I think it was educating the jury to get them over the sympathy and set it aside, because obviously these parents felt bad about what happened, and there’s no doubt that they have grief," said Smith.

Smith said the couple is looking at a maximum of 20 years behind bars.  The court has ordered a pre-sentencing investigation, and sentencing should take place in about 30 days.