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McCulloch Explains Misdemeanor Charges In Teen’s Drowning Death

Brian Kelly Twitter:@brpkelly
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Christopher Marks

Christopher Marks

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CLAYTON, MO (KMOX)-The man whose step-son drowned in the Meramec River after he allegedly provided him and other teens with beer now faces seven charges, but prosecutors are frustrated because they are all misdemeanors.

Todd Combs faces seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a second degree class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch says the day Comb’s 12-year-old step-son, Christopher Marks drowned in the Meramec River, Combs had provided Marks and six 15-year-olds with two coolers of beer. However, McCulloch says he can’t charge Combs with manslaughter, because it can’t be determined how much alcohol Marks had consumed, “The extent of time the child’s body was in the river and the condition at the time the body was recovered prevents a determination of the level of alcohol caused by ingesting alcoholic beverages.”

Marks disappeared in the Meramec River on Sunday August 5. His body was recovered the following Tuesday.

McCulloch says he can’t charge Combs with the first degree felony of endangering a child, because they can’t prove that Combs knowingly put Marks in substantial risk of imminent physical harm, “The courts have interpreted that to mean that we have to prove that the end result was practically certain to happen.”

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