Friday, December 2, 2011

Dad sentenced to 30 years for death of 1-year-old son (Wheeling, West Virginia)

Dad JOHN KRENZEL JR. has pleaded guilty. Yet another father playing at "caretaker" while Mom was out--probably working.

Father Sentenced to 30 Years for Son’s Death
December 2, 2011
By TYLER REYNARD Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

John Krenzel Jr. was sentenced to six to 30 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty in the death of his 1-year-old son.

According to an autopsy report issued by the West Virginia Medical Examiner's Office, the boy died March 13 after suffering an abusive closed head injury.

Emergency personnel responded to Krenzel's home that day after his son became unresponsive. Krenzel, 28, of Wheeling, however, did not give any indication the boy suffered a head injury.

"Mr. Krenzel did not give the paramedics at the scene, nor did he tell 911, any history of trauma to this child," said Ohio County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jenna Perkins.

Perkins went on to speak about the "golden hour," or the time in which medical attention is critical following a head injury. That time was lost when Krenzel again made no mention of head trauma to doctors at Ohio Valley Medical Center, Wheeling.

The boy was eventually transported by medical helicopter to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, where he died during surgery.

Krenzel later told investigators the boy had hit his head on a door frame the day he died while he was carrying the child into the bedroom. Krenzel said he thought nothing of the incident and laid the child on the bed to change his diaper.

According to Krenzel, the boy's legs were stiff and the child was foaming at the mouth when he returned to the bedroom with a fresh diaper. Rather than immediately calling 911, Krenzel called the boy's mother and asked what to do before finally phoning emergency personnel.

Thursday, he pleaded guilty to charges of child neglect resulting in death, child abuse resulting in injury and malicious assault. He entered an Alford-Kennedy plea, in which he refused to admit his guilt but acknowledged the state had adequate evidence to result in a conviction.

The boy's mother recalled dropping to the floor and crying in the hospital waiting room after doctors informed her the child died. Hours later, she was presented with the boy's jacket and a lock of his hair.

Ohio County Circuit Judge Arthur Recht, who is retiring Jan. 31, said cases such as Krenzel's are among the lowest points of his position.

"I personally will not miss this," Recht said of Thursday's proceedings. "And I would like to see the day where no judge has to go through this. Crimes against children are just simply unbearable. If they're unbearable to me, imagine how they are to the people who are directly involved."

In accordance with his plea, Krenzel agreed not to apply for parole before serving 15 years of his sentence