PITTSFIELD -- A Sheffield man has been found found not guilty of a charge of reckless endangerment of a child after his young relative was found wandering alone near a busy state highway in December 2012.
Police and prosecutors had alleged that while 25-year-old Abram Boinay slept off a heavy night of drinking his then 2-year-old relative, whom Boinay was supposed to be watching, wandered out of the house. The child was found by a concerned citizen near Route 7 in Sheffield.
The woman coaxed the child to her car and then went looking for the boy's family. She said in court that the child was muddy, was wearing only pajamas and had a dirty diaper. When no one answered the door at what was determined to be the Boinay residence, the woman took the child to the Sheffield police station.
According to court testimony during the one-day trial held at the Central Berkshire District Court on Wednesday, Boinay had fallen asleep with the child on his chest at about 2 p.m. The child was found at about 4 p.m.
During cross-examination by Boinay attorney Marc C. Vincelette Sr., a police officer and a state Department of Children and Families Investigator admitted that they did not feel Boinay was under the influence of alcohol at the time.
There was nothing indicating that Boinay had been drinking alcohol in the home when the child wandered off, according to testimony.
Additionally during testimony by Boinay's father, it was revealed that the door the child left through was designed in such a way that even if locked, it could have still been opened from the inside.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Dana Parsons told the jury there was enough evidence to find Boinay guilty of the charge. Vincelette told the jury that no crime had been committed.
A jury of three men and three women took about 30 minutes to find Boinay not guilty.
"This was a very unfortunate incident," Vincelette said after the trial. "A child could've been killed and we are all grateful for the actions of the citizen who rescued him. But my client committed no crime."
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