A father has been arrested after he left his five-month-old son in the bathtub to play video games and promptly forgot about him resulting in the infant's death due to drowning. 23-year-old Cordarius Cotton was apprehended by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and has been charged with reckless manslaughter over the incident.
According to a release by the sheriff's office, Cotton told detectives that he turned the water on, placed the child in the bathtub, and then forgot about him. When he returned to the bathtub an hour later, he found his son unresponsive. A dispatcher gave Cotton CPR instructions over the phone while the paramedics rushed to the residence.
Center Point Fire and Rescue and Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputies responded to the house at the 100 block of Hickory Grove Drive near Tarrant at around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 23, with the paramedics arriving soon after.
They took over from Cotton, who was still administering the CPR, and carried the boy out of the apartment. The child was transported to an area hospital for further treatment, though he would be pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
According to al.com, the infant's mother was not home at the time of the incident. Speaking about the death, Chief Deputy Randy Christian said, "We all have not only a moral obligation but also a legal obligation to give proper care to a child whose life and well-being depends on a caregivers attention and actions. This was a heart-wrenching case for all involved including our personnel. God Bless this family and this little boy."
Two other children were apparently living at the residence as well, though neither was present at the time of the infant's death. They were both subsequently removed and placed in the care of their grandmother pending a Department of Human Resources investigation. Family members have refused to comment on the death.
Cotton was arrested after sheriff's detectives reviewed the case with the District Attorney's Office and obtained an official arrest warrant concerning the same. He is currently being held at the Jefferson County Jail on a bond of $15,000.
The Ledger-Enquirer cited Alabama law to explain Cotton's manslaughter charge. In the state, a person commits manslaughter if they "recklessly cause the death of another person." If convicted, the class B felony nature of the charge means the 23-year-old faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.