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Friday, January 25th, 2008

Celina man sentenced to three years prison for injuring toddler

By Margie Wuebker
A Celina man will spend time in prison after pleading guilty to one count of child endangering for injuring a toddler while wrestling with him.
The charge stems from an April 27 incident resulting in injuries to a 21-month-old boy.
Charles Mullett, 20, a former Celina resident who currently lives in Cridersville, appeared Wednesday afternoon before Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Ingraham and accepted full responsibility for the injuries he caused while wrestling with the toddler.
"I am taking full responsibility and will take every possible step to make sure this does not happen again," he said prior to sentencing. "I want to avail myself of all programs and prove I can change."
Although defense attorney Ross Finke requested community control sanctions or at the least leniency, Ingraham sentenced the defendant to three years in prison.
"Information from the psychological evaluation indicates you fully comprehend what happened, but you are not accepting responsibility," Ingraham said. "Your account is laced with inconsistencies and you have shown no particular remorse."
Mullett, who has no prior criminal history, was indicted May 17 on one count of felonious assault and five counts of child endangering. All but one count of child endangering was dismissed during the course of plea negotiations.
Relatives sought medical attention for the child following an April 27 visit to the home of his mother and stepfather. He reportedly suffered bruising and red marks about the head and face.
Emergency room personnel at Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater alerted Celina Police regarding the injuries, which were later evaluated and treated at Children's Medical Center in Dayton.
Mullett told authorities the injuries occurred as he and the child wrestled on the floor as part of a game, according to Police Chief Dave Slusser. Investigators determined the actions presented a substantial risk of serious physical harm to the youngster and the matter was referred to the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office.
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Mercer County commissioners took the first step toward expanding the county's wastewater treatment plant on Thursday morning as they agreed to pay Fanning/Howey Associates, Celina, $23,500 for preliminary engineering. [More]
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