State of Ohio V. Boykins


CHARGE(S): Felonious Assault, Three Counts of Tampering with Evidence, Patient Endangerment

POTENTIAL PUNISHMENT: 28 years in the Ohio Department of Corrections

VENUE: Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, Cincinnati, Ohio

ALLEGATIONS: African/American Male home-care provider intentionally inflicted harm on a thirty-two year old physically and developmentally delayed white male patient by forcibly immersing him in a bathtub of scalding water. The State of Ohio called two expert witnesses: renowned patient-abuse expert Dr. Bethany Mohr of the University of Michigan and child-abuse expert, Dr. Brooke Keeshin of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Both Drs. Mohn and Dr. Keeshin opined that the patient sustained his burns as a result of Defendant, Mr. Boykins' forcibly placing and holding the victim against his will in a bathtub of scalding hot water. The defendant did not have an expert witness. The State claimed that the injuries were inflicted by the Defendant as punishment for the patient soiling himself near the end of Defendant's work shift. The victim sustained full thickness burns (third degree burns/destruction of all three layers of the skin) and permanent scarring and disfigurement.

DISPOSITION: The State of Ohio offered Mr. Boykins a plea of guilty to each and every count of the indictment with sentencing left to the discretion of the judge. The uncle of the victim was a Cincinnati Police Officer. Mr. Boykins' previous attorney demanded Mr. Boykins to plea to the indictment and argue for a lenient sentence from the judge notwithstanding the fat that such a plea resulted with the potential sentence of twenty-eight years in the Ohio Department of Corrections. Mr. Boykins terminated the services of that attorney and hired Mr. Bennett. Mr. Bennett tried the case to a jury.

RESULT: Mr. Boykins was found not guilty of the most serious charges of felonious assault and all three counts of tampering with evidence. He was only found guilty of the less serious charge of patient endangerment, a third degree felony, carrying a punishment of probation to thirty-six months in prison.

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