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1 of 2 charges dropped against father in toddler’s death

in Sirens

By Shereen Siewert

RHINELANDER — One of two felony charges has been dropped against a man accused of neglecting a one-year-old boy who died in April.

Trung Tran, 41, of Rhinelander appeared Thursday in Oneida County Circuit Court, asking a judge to dismiss both charges against him in connection with the death of his son. Tran was initially charged with child abuse/failure to prevent great harm and child neglect resulting in death.

Tran’s wife Ellen Tran, the child’s stepmother, faces charges of fist-degree reckless homicide in connection with the boy’s death. Police said Ellen Tran told investigators the boy slipped in the shower while she was caring for him; however, police presented evidence that the injuries to the boy were caused intentionally.

Text messages between couple show Ellen wished the boy was dead, according to the criminal complaint.

On Thursday, Oneida County Circuit Judge Michael Bloom ruled there was not enough evidence to support a charge of child abuse, but declined to dismiss the child neglect charge.

The couple is now estranged; online court records show Trung Tran filed for divorce on Nov. 7.

Tran, who is free on a $10,000 cash bond, is next due in court Jan. 26 for a preliminary hearing in the case.

 

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