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Father Who Called His Autistic Son A "Freak" Arrested After Child Found Dead In Family Pool

Father Who Called His Autistic Son A "Freak" Arrested After Child Found Dead In Family Pool

The boy was left in the family's backyard with his arms restrained.

One negligent father was sentenced to prison after his carelessness caused the death of his autistic child. According to People, former Michigan professor Timothy Koets is facing a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 15 years for the death of his son, Samuel Koets. He is charged with involuntary manslaughter and child abuse. 

"Sam had value, and the sanction will not restore Sam, but it will recognize that all humans have value, and because of the neglect you committed, a valuable human has lost his life," said Ottawa County Circuit Court Judge Jon Hulsing, according to the Associated Press.



 

The incident leading to the imprisonment took place in March 2019. Timothy woke up his sleeping wife Michelle and informed her that he had left their 16-year-old autistic child in the backyard before leaving to work. However, Michaelle, a registered nurse was exhausted from her night shift. Though she woke up, she fell asleep moments later. 



 

Shortly, Samuel's 13-year-old sister found him in the family's pool with his chest underwater. She texted Timothy and called for help. The mother, on the other hand, was still unaware of the tragedy. Timothy got back to his daughter and told him to check on Samuel. The inconsiderate father referred to his son as a "freak." 

By then, Samuel had totally slipped underwater. The panic-stricken girl rushed to her mother and informed her about the news. The mother hurried to her son's side and tried to resuscitate him. However, her attempts failed as the boy had been in the pool for about an hour.

Source: Ottawa County Jail

The parents told authorities that their son was nonverbal and functioned like a 13- to 17-month-old infant. They also explained that the boy was often restrained at the arms to prevent him from attacking others or harming himself. 

During his hearing in court,  Timothy regretted calling his son a freak. He said, "The words that I used were not good. It was a way of blowing off steam, and I'm not excusing myself for that, but I would never harm or abuse Sam."

Meanwhile, the authorities informed that they were called to the family's home about 15 times in the past. Each of those times, the child had escaped from the house after being left unattended by the family. 



 

Apart from the charges of manslaughter and child abuse, Timothy is also facing 2 to 4 years for refilling Samuel's prescription pill, Ritalin after his death and using them.

Samuel's mother, on the other hand, served 21 days in prison in June 2019 for accessing controlled substance through fraud. 

References: 

https://people.com/crime/professor-sentenced-to-2-years-minimum-15-years-maximum-for-drowning-death-of-son-with-autism/
https://apnews.com/article/michigan-us-news-grand-haven-detroit-child-abuse-5be4fcf771b366db9d97bde084bca52c