Man Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in Baby’s Drowning
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City man faces involuntary manslaughter charges in the drowning death of an infant. Prosecutors in Platte County charged 35-year-old Charles Wells on Tuesday.
Wells allegedly fell asleep while drunk as he was giving his 10-month-old son a bath. A blood test showed his blood alcohol content was .105 in the hours after the child’s death.
Court documents indicate officers and an ambulance responded to a home near 86th & N. Berman on August 10, 2011. The baby was then taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Hospital personnel reported water came out of the child’s airway during CPR attempts.
Wells allegedly told investigators he drank a half pint of Vodka before giving the child a bath. Approximately 45 minutes later, both witnesses heard Wells yelling and witnessed him giving the child CPR. Wells allegedly told investigators he was in the bathtub with the infant, fell asleep, and awoke to find the infant floating in the bathtub. He also allegedly admitted to using marijuana and methadone.
Prosecutors say they wanted to investigate the case thoroughly before moving forward.
“He went to the store with a couple of other witnesses who say he purchased something, he told police he purchased Vodka and drank a half a pint of Vodka,” said Platte County prosecutor Eric Zahnd.
After learning about Wells drinking and drug use, the prosecutor came to one conclusion.
“We do believe by drinking and getting into a bathtub with the water running with a child certainly can’t swim, can’t doing anything for itself, that is reckless and we allege caused the death of this child,” said Zahnd said.
FOX 4 went to the home where the drowning happened, but no one answered the door. None of the neighbors wanted to talk on camera, but they say they were caught off guard by the charges. They were surprised to hear Wells was allegedly drunk and passed out with his son in the bath tub.
Wells is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the first degree for recklessly causing the death of the infant. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison. He is currently being held in the Platte County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond.