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High school coach charged in death of football player

By Brett Barrouquere
Associated Press / January 23, 2009
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky high school football coach was charged yesterday with reckless homicide in the death of a player who collapsed at practice as temperatures soared.

A grand jury indicted David Jason Stinson in the death of Pleasure Ridge Park offensive lineman Max Gilpin, Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Stengel said. Stinson was directing practice on Aug. 20 when the heat index reached 94 degrees and the 15-year-old sophomore collapsed.

The youth had a temperature of 107 degrees when he arrived at the hospital, authorities said. He died three days later.

While deaths from heat exposure in athletics happen occasionally, charges are rare. The reckless homicide charge means grand jurors did not find that Stinson's actions were intentional or malicious, Stengel said, but that "a reasonable man should have realized something like this could have occurred."

Stinson's lawyer, Alex Dathorne, said the coach maintains his innocence and looks forward to telling the whole story.

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