Father found guilty in son's scalding death

Updated: Aug. 25, 2017 at 2:24 PM EDT
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Austin Cooper (Provided by Facebook)
Austin Cooper (Provided by Facebook)

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - A verdict has been reached in the case of a Warren County man whose 4-year-old son was scalded to death by his stepmother.

Robert Ritchie was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and child endangering on Friday.

Ritchie was tried three times in connection the March 2016 death of his son, Austin Cooper.

Prosecutor David Fornshell said Ritchie's wife, Anna, put the child in 135-degree water and held him there for 20-25 minutes, causing his eventual death, because she resented becoming his primary caregiver.

Ritchie knew about his son was badly burned, but didn't check on him for 15 hours, according to prosecutors.

Fornshell has said Austin would likely be alive had he received medical treatment.

Judge Robert Peeler declared a mistrial in Ritchie's case in December of 2016, after the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

A second mistrial was declared in March after Ritchie became ill in court.

Anna Ritchie is serving 18 years to life after pleading guilty to charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault and endangering children.

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