GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A college professor in western Michigan whose severely autistic 16-year-old son drowned in an icy backyard pool in March has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and child abuse.
Authorities said Samuel Koets’ arms were bound when he was found face down in the above-ground pool behind the family’s home in Georgetown Township, 170 miles (270 kilometers) west of Detroit. The teen’s father, Timothy Koets, had left him outside when he went to work at Grand Rapids Community College, and his mother, Michelle Koets, was asleep inside after working a third shift as a registered nurse.
Timothy Koets, 50, was arraigned last week, according to MLive.com. The judge entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf. If convicted of manslaughter, he could face a 15-year prison sentence. The second-degree child abuse charge carries a possible 10-year term.