Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Avondale teen gets deal in dad's death

By Marie McCain, mmccain@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        There were no tears. No hysterics. No extreme displays of emotion. A couple of quick hugs from relatives, a small smile and a 15-year-old Avondale girl once accused of causing her father's death by throwing bleach on him walked out of court Monday.

        The center of the first juvenile court jury trial in Hamilton County, the girl agreed to a deal that let her plead guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated assault.

        In exchange, prosecutors withdrew a Serious Youth Offender classification that could have kept the teen behind bars well into adulthood.

        When she returns to court for sentencing, a Juvenile Court judge could decide to incarcerate her forsix months to six years.

        She is not being named because of her age.

        Two weeks earlier, a jury deadlocked, unable to reach a verdict on involuntary manslaughter and felonious assault charges.

        Prosecutors contended the girl intentionally doused her 39-year-old father, Archie Dale Hall, with bleach Jan. 28. The pair had argued about the girl's 17-year-old boyfriend.

        Prosecutors said the bleach triggered the breathing problems that eventually killed Mr. Hall.

        But defense attorneys said the teen, who'd been washing clothes and was carrying an uncapped bottle of bleach, inadvertently tossed the bottle when her father hit her.

        His death, they argued, was unrelated and the result of him vomiting and then inhaling it.

        After the deadlock, Juvenile Court Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon dismissed the involuntary manslaughter charge. During Monday's hearing, she accepted the girl's plea and found her guilty.


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