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High School Coach Charged In Player's Death

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky high school football coach was
charged Thursday with reckless homicide in the death of one of his
players who collapsed at practice on a hot day.

A grand jury indicted David Jason Stinson in the death of Pleasure Ridge Park offensive lineman Max Gilpin. Stinson was directing practice on Aug. 20, when the heat index reached 94 degrees in Louisville where the school is located. The 15-year-old Gilpin collapsed and had trouble breathing.

When the sophomore reached Kosair Children's Hospital, he had a temperature of 107 degrees and died there three days later.

The reckless homicide charge means grand jurors didn't find that Stinson's actions were intentional or malicious, said Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Stengel. However, Stengel said, "a reasonable man should have realized something like this could have occurred."

Stinson's attorney, Alex Dathorne, told The Associated Press that the coach maintains his innocence and looks forward to "bringing out the whole story."

"We're certainly disappointed in the grand jury's decision to indict," Dathorne said.

Stengel said Stinson, who coached the whole 2008 season, will surrender Monday at his arraignment and likely will remain free pending trial.

Stengel said he reviewed the actions of five assistant coaches who were on the field that day and determined they committed no criminal act.

Lauren Roberts, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Public Schools, said she's aware of the indictment, but the school system had not been formally notified about the charge.

"We'll be making a determination about his status with the district," Roberts said.

Elden May, a Kentucky High School Athletic Association spokesman, declined comment.

Stinson asked to testify in front of the grand jurors but they declined to hear him, Stengel said. The grand jury heard only from a Louisville Metro Police detective.

Gilpin's parents, Glenna Michele Crockett and Jeffrey Dean Gilpin, sued Stinson and the five assistant coaches in state court accusing them of negligence and "reckless disregard."

Along with the lawsuit and criminal investigation, the school system has been conducting its own investigation, which was still pending Thursday.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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