Former PRP football coach found not guilty on all charges
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It took the jury of eight men and four women just 90 minutes to return a verdict in the Jason Stinson trial. The former Pleasure Ridge Park High School football coach faced charges of wanton endangerment and reckless homicide for the heat-related death of 15-year-old Max Gilpin, who collapsed and later died following a practice August of 2008.
In the first case of its type where a football coach had been criminally charged for the heat-related death of a player, the jury found Stinson not guilty on both charges.
Inside the courtroom, Stinson bowed his head with relief as the verdicts were delivered. Stinson was quickly ushered out of the courtroom and did not comment on the outcome, but his defense attorneys had plenty to say. "Coach Stinson, and I do mean Coach Stinson, did nothing wrong. I mean this was a complete travesty. I'm sorry that he was ever put in this position. We are thankful and satisfied with the verdict. We're satisfied the jury listened and we hope that Coach Stinson and high school football continues to thrive," said Alex Dathorne.
Stinson's father, Don Stinson, said this year has been a difficult one for his family and he's relieved by the trial's outcome. "We come from a Christian family and we don't sit around and tell lies. You tell it like it is, no matter what the price is. Stinsons can walk down the street and never have to look over our shoulders 'cause we ain't done nothing wrong and we never will and that's my son, too."
Other friends say they couldn't be happier. "We were very pleased, very thankful. They got their life back now," said Rosie O'Bryan, a family friend.
Meanwhile, the parents of Max Gilpin, disappointed by the verdict, have to on without their son. "From the beginning, we know it was going to be tough, beyond a reasonable doubt. That's tough and we knew that. But there again, our objective is that this doesn't happen to another child or to another family. I know we've reached that goal," said Michele Crockett, Max's mother.
"We love football. I think all of us do. We didn't want to change the sport. But they shouldn't put safety above winning," said Jeff Gilpin, Max's father.
The Crockett and Gilpin families say they want Max's death not to be in vain and for this case to truly make a change on practice fields everywhere. "I do think more good will come from this trial," said Leland Hulbert, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney. "If every coach steps on a football field and now thinks about what he's doing a little bit more and now thinks about water a little bit, watches his players a little bit more, we're all better off for having this case."
Stinson's attorneys say their client would like to return to coaching, although they didn't say where or when that might be.
Although the criminal case against Stinson is over, he still is facing a civil case filed by Gilpin's parents over the death of their son.
- Stinson defense nearly complete; Jury should get the case on Thursday
- PRP player's testimony: Coach Stinson didn't deny water
- Deputy coroner says autopsy was not necessary in Gilpin case
- Players describe tough practice in Stinson trial
- Gilpin's father, teammates testify on day 6 of Stinson trial
- Stinson prosecution begins with victim's mother on the stand
- Day 4 brings opening arguments in Stinson trial
- Jury seated in Stinson trial
- Attempt to seat jury resumes in Stinson trial
- Jury pool down to 100 in Stinson case
- Jury selection delayed in coach's trial for player's death
- Support vigil held on the eve of Stinson's trial
- Coroner's report classifies Gilpin's death "accidental"
- Judge dismisses wanton endangerment charge in PRP player's death
- New motion filed in Stinson case
- Judge orders charges against Stinson consolidated
- Stinson arraigned on wanton endangerment
- Grand jury places additional charge on Jason Stinson
- PRP football starts new season days before anniversary of Gilpin's death
- JCPS expert says illness may have caused Gilpin to overheat
- JCPS ordered to turn over Gilpin investigation
- Gilpin's mother angry over delay in JCPS investigation
- Dozens gather to remember PRP player on his 16th birthday
- 911 tapes from day PRP player collapsed are released
- New PRP head coach dropped from wrongful death lawsuit
- Gilpin case coming down to battle of medical experts
- Prosecution releases evidence in case against PRP coach
- PRP principal gives sworn deposition in civil case concerning player's death
- Parents sue coaches in PRP death
- Lawsuit filed in death of PRP football player
- Fellow coaches find charges against PRP coach a surprise
- Max Gilpin case now in hands of prosecutors
- Grand jury returns indictment against PRP head football coach
- LMPD to investigate PRP football player's death
- JCPS launches probe into death of PRP player
- PRP football returns to action after death of teammate
- Students return to PRP following weekend death of football player
- PRP football player in ICU two days after collapsing during practice
- Two PRP football players collapse during practice
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