Franklin father charged in son’s scalding death will get 3rd trial

Franklin father charged in son’s scalding death will get 3rd trial

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Robert Ritchie appeared in court on the first day of his second trial Monday, March 6 in Warren County Common Pleas Court. Ritchie is charged with child endangering and involuntary manslaughter in connection with the scalding death of his 4-year-old son. A mistrial was declared in December when a jury could not reach a verdict. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The third trial of Robert Ritchie, the Franklin father charged in connection with his 4-year-old’s scalding death, is scheduled to begin today.

Richie was in Warren County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday for a final pretrial hearing in Judge Robert Peeler’s courtroom.

Defense attorney Frank Schivanone IV said after, “We are proceeding to trial.”

In March, a second mistrial was declared on the second day of trial when Ritchie became ill during the testimony of a doctor who performed his son’s autopsy.

About five autopsy photos of Austin Cooper were shown to the jury on the large screen when the defense suddenly requested a break.

Richie then began to vomit and was taken from the courtroom where his condition worsened and he was taken away in an ambulance.

After meeting with Judge Robert Peeler in chambers, defense attorneys and Assistant Warren County Prosecutor Steven Knippen both requested a mistrial.

Richie is charged with felony child endangering and involuntary manslaughter for allegedly not checking on his son for 15 hours after learning the child had been burned severely by his wife, Anna Ritchie.

Anna Ritchie is serving a sentence of 18 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder for the boy’s death on March 15.

In December 2016, a mistrial was declared in Ritchie’s first trial after a jury could not reach a verdict.

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