Trial slated for western Pa. mother in death of 13-month-old son in bathtub


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INDIANA, Pennsylvania — Trial open this week for a western Pennsylvania woman whose 13-month-old son drowned last year while authorities said he was bathing unattended with two toddler siblings.

Jury selection begins Monday in Indiana County in the third-degree homicide trial of 26-year-old Tonya Thomas of White Township.

Authorities allege that she left Ryden and his 2- and 3-year-old siblings unattended in the bathtub and later found him face-down in the water.

Thomas earlier agreed to an involuntary manslaughter plea but later decided to withdraw the plea and go to trial.

Defense attorneys argue that the boy's drowning was a tragic accident and nothing more.

The boy's father, Wesley Thomas, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment and was sentenced to three months to two years in prison.


Information from: The Indiana Gazette, http://www.indianagazette.com

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