Police say a Jefferson County, Ala., dad drew a bath for his 5-month-old son, put him in the water and left to play a video game Sunday, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
But cops said It was an hour later before the dad remembered his boy Dezmend was in the tub — and by then, it was too late, AL.com reported.
Now 23-year-old Cordarius Cotton faces a reckless manslaughter charge in the drowning death of his 5-month-old son and was jailed on a $15,000 bond, the sheriff’s office said.
“I can’t imagine how hard this is going to be on that child’s family,” Jefferson County Chief Deputy Randy Christian said, according to WIAT. “This will be heart wrenching for all involved. God be with them.”
Police said they responded to the home shortly before 8:30 p.m. after receiving a call that an infant was found unresponsive, according to the sheriff’s office.
Dispatchers from 911 had been instructing people at the home on how to perform CPR, and paramedics took over when they arrived, AL.com reported. The medics tried to resuscitate the boy on the way to the hospital, but the baby was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, according to the site.
Police say they questioned Cotton, who told them it had started when he drew a bath for the boy, according to the sheriff’s office.
Officials say Cotton turned on the water and placed the infant in the tub before leaving to go play a video game. An hour later, officials say Cotton remembered the boy and came back to the bathroom to find the child unresponsive, according to the news release.
Officials consulted with the district attorney and decided to charge Cotton with reckless manslaughter, WIAT reported. In Alabama, a person commits manslaughter if they “recklessly cause the death of another person,” according to the state code. It is a class B felony, punishable by a maximum of 20 years in jail.
The child’s mother was not there at the time, and other children living at the home have been placed with their grandparents, AL.com reported.
“We all have not only a moral obligation, but also a legal obligation to give proper care to a child whose life and well-being depends on a caregivers attention and actions,’‘ Christian said, according to the site. “This was a heart-wrenching case for all involved including our personnel. God Bless this family and this little boy.”