By Wayne Gates –
Donald Martin, Jr. has asked to take back his guilty plea and go to trial in connection with the death of his 11 year old step-grandson.
Martin is accused of restraining 11 year old Dylan Davis last November against a couch until he suffocated.
He pleaded guilty to one count of Reckless Homicide on April 26 and was scheduled to be sentenced on May 31.
Instead, Bruce Wallace, Martin’s attorney, asked Common Pleas Judge Scott Gusweiler for permission to file a motion to withdraw Martin’s guilty plea.
Gusweiler granted the request. A written motion to withdraw the guilty plea will now be filed with a court.
Another pre-trial hearing in the case has been set for July 2, where Gusweiler will presumably make a decision on whether to allow Martin to withdraw his guilty plea.
Wallace said that Martin has requested a trial before the court, also known as a bench trial. That means that if Gusweiler allows the withdrawal of the plea, he will decide the case instead of a jury.
Martin would be tried on the original charge of Reckless Homicide, which is a third degree felony.
“Mr. Martin and his family still believe that this was a tragic accident and that his actions on that day are not something should deserve incarceration. He is electing to go forward with his right to a trial and have a court make that determination,” said Wallace after the hearing.
Samuel Davis, the father of the victim, said that he was very frustrated by what happened in the courtroom.
“I was wanting to see the sentencing and that was going to be the end of this case so we could close the book and move on with our lives. This is beyond frustrating. I’m angry. I’m waiting to close to book and move on and it seems that this is going to continue into the future,” Davis said.
According to information released by the Brown County Sheriff’s Department last November, a life squad was called to Martin’s home at 6:40 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17. The caller told dispatchers that an 11 year old boy at that location had been having a temper tantrum, passed out and was experiencing shallow breaths. When the life squad arrived, the found the child unresponsive.
He was taken to Mt. Orab Mercy, where he was pronounced dead.