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Man Whose Toddler Fell From Porch Asks Plea Deal

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CROWN POINT, Ind. (STMW) – An East Chicago man who admitted his daughter fell from a second-story porch because he wasn’t adequately supervising her faces a sentence of probation if the judge accepts his plea agreement.

Stephen T. Gatses, 38, of the 4800 block of Wegg Avenue, admitted in court Tuesday he failed to adequately supervise his 18-month-old daughter on May 20. When police arrived at 4:30 p.m. that day, Gatses hadn’t checked on the girl for about two hours after giving her a bottle to drink. Court records indicate the girl suffered a broken jaw and other injuries. In court, Gatses said the toddler had recovered.

Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez said he hadn’t decided whether to accept the plea agreement.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 8.

The plea agreement calls for 18 months of probation for neglect, a class D felony punishable by a maximum three-year prison sentence.

Gatses had been charged with neglect, a class B felony punishable by a sentence of six to 20 years in prison.

Defense attorney Samuel Cappas said his client had a diabetic episode on that day. Since then, Gatses had completed parenting classes through the juvenile court.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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