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The verdict of a Muskingum County couple is now in.
Richard and Kasey Klein were both found guilty of two counts of child endangerment and two counts of involuntary manslaughter. The charges are in connection with Mrs. Kleins two children 3-year-old Ayden Cecil and 2-year-old Anthony Tullius. They are believed to have accidentally drowned while the family was camping near Ellis Dam. In closing statements Thursday morning the prosecution accused the Kleins of "recklessly" placing the boys in danger. Assistant Prosecutor Bob Smith emphasizes the Kleins actions to place the tent within 20 feet of the river, knowing the boys had a tendency to wander off. Smith also highlights the long day of work the couple had prior to the night of the incident and Kasey's use of Xanax- making her unalert to the needs of her sons.
"This was a camping trip as planned and executed as a disaster," stated Smith. "That ladies and gentlemen is the very presents of needless indifference but disregarded to the strong possibility that these boys might slip, causing injuries to themselves, or in the worst case be killed, that is the essence of child endangerment."
In Kasey's defense her attorney David Sams implied Richard is to blame for the deaths, referring to Kasey's testimony where she recalled taking off Aydens shoes before putting him to bed and saying that he would be unable to put the shoes on himself due to Cerebral Palsy. When Aydens body was recovered from the river both shoes were on.
"Here is what happened, Mr. Klein realized that and realized that had to be explained," said Sams. "That's why he offered that explanation on his own, with out prompting in that interview. This is what we call in law conscience of guilt."
In Richards defense his attorney William Moody states there isn't enough evidence to convict his client of the charges. He highlights Richards willingness to cooperate with authorities.
"Mr. Sams talks about conscience of guilt. Does that seem like there is conscience of guilt? Does that seem like there is conscience of guilt on my clients part?" questioned Moody. "Now, he may have said, I don't think this, or I don't think that but he was under a lot of stress too. He was trying to answer questions he probably didn't know."
The jury deliberated the case for nearly six hours.