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Father of teen who died of OD reaches plea deal

The father of a 13-year-old boy who died of a suspected overdose pleaded guilty Friday to drug and weapons charges that will conclude his two felony cases.

Robert Wylie, 40, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and cocaine in a 2016 case when drugs were found on Wylie during a traffic stop of his girlfriend.

RELATED: Father arraigned for endangering child in suspected fatal overdose

Wylie also entered an Alford plea to the 2017 charges of endangering children and having weapons under disability in connection with the April 1 death of Nathan Wylie.

An Alford plea allows a defendant to admit the state can prove the charges, but that the defendant maintains his innocence. The sentences to the counts Wylie pleaded guilty to range from six to 36 months each.

Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Steven Dankof accepted the pleas, found Wylie guilty and scheduled sentencing for Nov. 15. Dankof said the maximum total sentence Wylie could face was 8½ years if all ran consecutively.

SPECIAL REPORT: Since 2009, adults with a history of abuse have killed hundreds of Ohio kids

Dankof asked Wylie and his attorney if they considered the effect of an Alford plea when the judge considers Wylie’s sentence. Wylie said he expected the Alford plea was going to lead to less of a sentence than if he was found guilty at trial or if pleaded guilty outright.

“That’s going to be up to the judge to consider,” Montgomery County assistant prosecutor Lynda Dodd said. “It’s going to be our position that he’s not taking responsibility for it.”

Dayton police Detective Elizabeth Alley testified that Wylie waited about four hours on March 28 from when he discovered his son until he sought help at a fire station located next door on South Broadway Street in Dayton. Alley said drug paraphernalia was located near Nathan.

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Wiley “certainly felt bad that so much time had passed and his son died,” defense attorney Jeffrey Gramza said. “Mr. Wiley did his best to revive (Nathan) and didn’t realize at the time what he was suffering from. He had no reason to realize that.”

Nathan died of an “anoxic brain injury” due to suspected drug intoxication and the cause was accidental, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

Nathan’s death certificate also said the toxic substance was not identified. Prosecutors had said they were waiting to review toxicology results before possibly bringing charges.

After the hearing, Gramza said his client suffered the lost of his son and committed no criminal wrongdoing in the 2017 case.

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“He arrived to an extremely difficult scene that was none of his doing,” Gramza said. “He pled guilty pursuant to Alford so that he could get on with his life.

“Rob maintains his innocence. He did not kill his son, nor did he endanger the life of his son. He suffered an undeniable, incredible loss.”


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