Athey to face manslaughter charges
A Fritch man will face manslaughter charges in the death of his three-month-old son.A Hutchinson County Grand Jury met yesterday afternoon to consider evidence in the April 19, 2011, death of a three and a half month old infant.At approximately 8:20 p.m. on April 19, 2011, Fritch EMS was dispatched to 9625 Fritch Fortress Road in Hutchinson County just outside of Fritch. Upon arriving, EMS found an unresponsive infant, who was pronounced dead at the scene by the Justice of the Peace. A Lubbock Medical Examiner determined the child died of asphyxiation.Late yesterday afternoon, the Grand Jury returned an indictment charging the infant’s father, 26-year-old Johnathon Frank Athey, with manslaughter. The indictment alleges that he recklessly caused his child’s death.If convicted of manslaughter, Athey could be sentenced to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Institutional Division from two years to 20 years. Athey could receive probation from a jury.84th Judicial District Attorney Mark W. Snider said he is very pleased with the thorough investigation conducted by both the Texas Rangers and the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office.This indictment was returned in the 84th District Court for Hutchinson County and Judge William D. Smith will preside over the matter. Athey is being represented by Borger attorney Curtis Hinshaw.Athey remains incarcerated in the Hutchinson County Jail on a $200,000 bond.