Stupid Prosecution of the Week
What started as a joke ended in tragedy as a 14 year old boy put his 5 year old half sister into a large coin-operated washing machine.
The boy put no coins in the machine but it started anyway, [defense attorney John] Graham said. The boy tried "frantically" to stop the washer and free his sister, taking a large rock from the parking lot to smash at the glass, Graham said.
The tragedy was compounded when a Virginia prosecutor charged the kid with manslaughter. That decision was foolish: the boy has been punished enough by the death of his sister, and he had no way of knowing that the machine would start on its own. Fortunately, calmer heads prevailed, and the charges were dismissed today.
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