- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man has been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison after taking a plea deal in the 2012 death of his ex-girlfriend’s son.

Nick Reed, 36, pleaded guilty Tuesday to possession of red phosphorous with intent to manufacture methamphetamine and entered an Alford plea to a child neglect charge. An Alford plea doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges that prosecutors likely can prove the charges.

Charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and possessing marijuana were dropped under the plea deal, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald (https://bit.ly/1zwN85G ) reported.

Prosecutors originally charged Reed with first-degree murder in the death of 2-year-old Bentley Randall, but dropped the charge last year citing a lack of evidence.

Reed told authorities that he poured water on Bentley in an effort to try to revive the child, who wouldn’t wake up from a nap. Bentley suffered severe scalding and Reed said he didn’t realize the water was too hot, according to court documents. The toddler was admitted to a hospital, where he died two days later.

Assistant Dubuque County Attorney Chris Corken told the court the decision to present the plea deal wasn’t made lightly.

“Our concern has been from the beginning that the defendant be held accountable for what the state can legally prove based on the evidence the state has,” Corken said.

She said she knows Bentley’s family doesn’t agree with the decision, but that the state can only act on charges that can be sufficiently proved.

“We cannot create evidence that doesn’t exist. We cannot change evidence that does exist,” she said. “To get what the family would’ve wanted … holding someone accountable for the loss of their Bentley, we simply do not have the evidence to do that.”

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com


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