Michigan professor faces manslaughter rap in autistic son’s backyard pool drowning


Mugshot for Timothy Koets, 50. (Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office)

(FOX) — A professor in Michigan has been charged with manslaughter in the March accidental drowning death of his 16-year-old autistic son.

Investigators said the boy, Sam Koets, drowned after climbing into an above-ground pool with icy water in the backyard of a Georgetown Township, Mich., home where he lived with his parents and siblings, according to reports.

“There are facts in this case that I think the public will find disturbing,” said Capt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, according to MLive.com.

Timothy Koets, 50, was accused Friday of failing to supervise his son who investigators said had been left alone in the backyard, Fox 17 Grand Rapids reported.

Investigators found the boy, who had severe autism, in the pool unresponsive with his arms bound, the station reported.

Koets teaches computer science at Grand Rapids Community College, according to the station.

He was released on bail Friday after a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf by a judge, MLive.com reported.

Koets, who was also charged with child abuse, told the judge he wasn’t going to flee.

Investigators also said Sam had been living in the home in deplorable conditions that included sleeping in the basement on a soiled mattress, Fox 17 reported.

“I’m not a risk at all,” he said, according to the news outlet. “I’m not going to run or anything.”

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