Appeals court says charges will stand against couple in death of U.P. boy

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court won’t set aside charges in the death of a 2-year-old Upper Peninsula boy who suffocated.

The case against Donald Nelson and the boy’s mother, Mary Plis, has reached three courts. A District Court judge dismissed the case, but the decision was overturned by a Chippewa County Circuit judge.

The appeals court affirmed that ruling Wednesday, 2-1.

Nelson and Plis are charged with involuntary manslaughter. Authorities allege that the boy was overly swaddled in many blankets before being placed on a soft couch in 2013.

Two appeals court judges say there’s evidence to support allegations that Nelson and Plis were grossly negligent. But in dissent, Judge Jane Markey says there’s no evidence that the couple knew or should have known the boy would be at risk.

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