Monday, March 14, 2016

Custodial dad gets 2 YEARS in prison for murder of 2-year-old son (Danielson, Connecticut)

(Intentionally?) misleading headline. The "parents" were not involved with this. The neglectful custodial dad and his heroin-addicted girlfriend were. WHO GAVE THEM CUSTODY? Not a word, as usual. Dad is identified as DAVID MAHAN.

Our sympathies to the mother, who is finally named.

Putnam father sentenced to two years for role in toddler's death

David Mahan, of Putnam, is sentenced to 2 years in prison and 5 years probation Friday morning at Danielson Superior Court in connection with the 2014 choking death of his 2-year-old son. Aaron Flaum/

By John Penney

Posted Mar. 11, 2016 at 11:54 AM

DANIELSON – The parents of a toddler who choked to death after being left unsupervised inside a Putnam bedroom in 2014 left Danielson Superior Court on Friday, the father to begin a prison sentence and the mother to continue piecing her life back together.

A few minutes before Judge Hope Seeley sentenced 32-year-old David Mahan to two years in prison for his role in the death of his 2-year-old son, the victim’s mother, Katelyn Kaeppel, stood nervously in the foyer of the court building.

“I’m not staying for the sentencing,” she said. “I don’t feel it’s necessary. I just wanted to make sure my son was getting justice. I lost a child, but so did David. So did both our families. I’m still angry, but I want nothing but the best for him.”

Mahan pleaded guilty in January to second-degree manslaughter and risk of injury to a child. Under a plea agreement, Mahan was sentenced to seven years in prison, suspended after two years, and five years of probation.

According to court documents, on March 26, 2014, Peterson left the boy and his 1-year-old sibling alone in a locked bedroom for hours with bowls of dry cereal for food while she dropped one of her two children off at school and later drove to a Willimantic methadone clinic for treatment.

Mahan, an electrician with the Mercier Electrical Co. in Auburn, Mass., was reportedly at work when Peterson came home and found the boy not breathing and unresponsive in the bedroom.

After Peterson called 911 and began CPR, emergency personnel arrived and took the child to DayKimballHospital in Putnam, where he was pronounced dead. An emergency room doctor observed what appeared to be food in the victim’s airway, police said. According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the child’s cause of death was by choking on a bolus, or a mass of chewed food. The death was ruled a homicide.

Peterson told police she had routinely left Mahan’s children alone for several hours a day since mid March 2014, when Mahan returned to work after a layoff of five months, according to an arrest warrant. In a statement to police, Peterson said Mahan was aware she was leaving his children alone and told her to “just lock the children in the bedroom while she went to the clinic,” until other day care arrangements could be made, according to the warrant.

“He callously disregarded the risk to his children,” AssistantState’s Attorney Sarah Fallon said. “And that led to (the child’s) death.”