Thursday, June 06, 2002

Death-by-bleach case up to jury

By Marie McCain,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Jurors began deliberating shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday in the trial of a 15-year-old Avondale girl accused of killing her father.

        Deliberations ended at 8:40 p.m. and will resume at 9 a.m. today.

        In closing arguments, defense attorneys urged jurors to put themselves in the teen's place and realize that she did not intend for her father to die.

        Rather, her attorneys said, the girl only wanted to get away from him.

        “What happened was an accident,” said David Montgomery, an assistant Hamilton County public defender.

        The teen, who was 14 at the time of the Jan. 28 incident, is charged as a juvenile with one count each of involuntary manslaughter and felonious assault in the death of her father, Archie Dale Hall.

        Prosecutors contend the girl intentionally threw bleach on her father during an argument over the girl's 17-year-old boyfriend.

        “How do you throw bleach into someone's face and not mean to cause them harm?” asked Heidi Selden, an assistant Hamilton County prosecutor.

        On Wednesday, the defense presented George Nichols, a Louisville pathologist, who reviewed medical records and autopsy records relating to Mr. Hall's death.

        The doctor contradicted earlier testimony from a Hamilton County coroner that cited bleach inhalation as one of the contributing causes of death.

        He agreed with earlier findings that Mr. Hall died of breathing problems, but could not say what triggered those problems. He said there is no evidence that fumes from bleach alone are deadly.

        Prosecutors tried to impeach Dr. Nichols' testimony by bringing up a 1984 case. In that case, the doctor misidentified the type of gun used in a homicide.

        Officials believe Mr. Hall, 39, ingested the fluid, which triggered the respiratory problems that led to his death. Witnesses testified Mr. Hall was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

        He died in February, three weeks after the incident.

        The girl's boyfriend, Gregory Douglas, is being charged as an adult with aggravated assault. He allegedly put the older man in a headlock after he had been doused with bleach.

        This is the first juvenile jury trial in Ohio. If convicted the girl could be detained in an adult prison well beyond her 21st birthday.


Ali lends star power to Freedom Center
CAN to assist in clearing records
Chamber link spans distances
Blue Ash leader sees chance of airport deal
Action against bar won't be accelerated
- Death-by-bleach case up to jury
Hospital delays elective surgeries
Israeli mayor saddened, determined
Judge: House addition can be razed
Second Goettafest to span 2 days
Obituary: Dr. 'Pat' Sferra, 74, taught at Mount St. Joe
School still on schedule
Schools' proposed budget growing
Settlement gets one last hearing
Tristate A.M. Report
Visitors bureau funds may shift
Volunteer chosen to throw first pitch
PULFER: The graduates
RADEL: Hear the customer
$1 is all it takes to attend LeSourdsville Lake opening
Hamilton stop on rail route is urged
Sex-with-minor case is 2nd for man
DeWine: Check legal barriers in 9-11 failure
Fishing pier by plant reopens
Forum slated on rate changes
Judge orders Ohioan to Tenn.
Layoffs coming for OSU staffers
Ohio court says ex-spouse has claim on military benefit
Taft approves budget bill
Taft's office shares role in cost of ads
Voinovich to boycott hearing because of witness
Abuse of meth climbing quickly
Bishop kept mum on abuse
Kentucky News Briefs
Lawsuits may be sealed
Patton: No special session likely
Schools for deaf, blind faulted