UPDATE: Jefferson County judge to probe 1988 drowning

UPDATED Sunday, October 6, 2013 --- 7:02 p.m.

JEFFERSON, Wis. (AP) -- A Jefferson County judge is holding a secret hearing to determine if criminal charges could be filed in a 1988 death previously attributed to accidental drowning.

The Journal Times reports (http://bit.ly/1bAIZoP ) Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Weston decided to conduct the proceedings into Artis Echoles' death. The hearing, similar to a grand jury proceeding mixed with a coroner's inquest, will be Dec. 5 in Jefferson.

Weston ordered the case reopened in January. But District Attorney Susan Happ found no evidence to suggest a crime was committed.

The boy's mother, Carmin White, says there were conflicting investigation reports. In one report, three children said they saw a man holding the 8-year-old's head under water to make him swim.

The boy, who was afraid of water, was vacationing with his foster family.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
Posted: Tuesday February 12, 2013 -- 8:27 a.m.

JEFFERSON, Wis. (AP) -- The 1988 death of an 8-year-old boy will be re-examined in Jefferson County.

A coroner ruled the death of Artis Echoles was due to accidental drowning. His mother, Carmin White, has never believed that ruling. She has convinced a Jefferson County judge to order an investigation.

The boy was in foster care at the time he died. His foster mother said her daughter's fiancTe took the boy swimming in the Bark River in Jefferson and that he disappeared. Divers later recovered his body. White says her son couldn't swim.

The Journal Sentinel says that in ordering an investigation, Judge Jennifer Weston noted in her decision that three young witnesses at the Bark River Campground saw a man throwing a boy into the water and holding his head underwater.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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