Dad sentenced in death of his toddler

Local News

UPDATE: Tasman Maile was sentenced for his role in the death of his 2-year-old son who accidentally shot himself with his dad’s loaded gun. 

Several family members spoke in support of not giving Maile prison time. 

After apologizing to his wife and family, Maile tearfully told the judge that he sometimes feels like he cannot function and just wants to see his son again. 

Maile’s wife told the judge that she needs her husband home and she believes this tragedy has helped turn their lives around. 

After an emotional plea by the Maile, the man’s family and defense attorneys, Judge Todd Shaughnessy agreed that Maile would most likely punish himself for the rest of his life over his son’s death but that some jail time was warranted. 

He suspended Maile’s prison sentence and gave him 90 days in jail with credit for the 10 days he has already served.


WEST VALLEY CITY (News4Utah)- A man charged with child abuse homicide involving the death of his toddler son pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge of negligent homicide. 

Tasman Maile admitted to the crime before a Third District Court judge.

 The case was resolved quickly.   It happened in May at his home in West Valley City. Police say Maile’s son got ahold of a gun and shot himself.

“The death occurred at the hands of the father through reckless conduct,” said Blake Nakamura, the deputy Salt Lake District Attorney.

It happened while Maile was babysitting at his home in West Valley.  Police said the 22-month old  was unconscious when they found him but died two days later. 

Maile was originally charged with child abuse homicide, in addition to drugs, illegally possession guns and obstruction of justice.

In court, judge Todd Shaughnessy questioned him before he entered his guilty plea.
Judge: “Is that what happened sir?”  
Maile: “Yes.”
Judge: “You need to speak up.”
Maile: (sobs)
Attorney: “He is emotional …”
Judge: “I know it’s difficult but you need to audibly answer questions.”

The plea agreement called for a reduce charge to the child’s death.  It went from a child homicide to negligent homicide, a class A misdemeanor.  Nakamura said their office allowed the reduce charge in an effort to show compassion for the toddler’s death.  But he said the other charges of guns, drugs and obstruction remained intact.

After gaining his composure, the judge asked him again.

Judge: “With respect to those charges, do you plead guilty or not guilty?”
Maile:  “I plead guilty… guilty.”

Nakamura said Mailey’s wife and mother to the toddler agreed to the plea bargain.

“The mother of the child wanted to resolve this case,” he said.  “I think it’s quite natural for her to have that desire.”

And it appeared Maile did too. Nakamura said it was inevitable behavior like this can end tragically.
“Guns, drugs and children, they should never mix,” Nakamura said.  Anytime those three things are put together there’s always a risk of a tragedy happening.

Maile could have spent up to five years in prison on the gun and drug charges, the more serious of the crimes.  But as part of the plea bargain, prosecutors will not seek prison time for Maile.  More than likely, he’ll serve time in the county jail.  He’ll be sentenced in August.

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