Father charged in daughter's drowning death appears in court

7:42 AM, Feb 9, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - The attorney for a Minnetrista father charged in the death of his eight-month-old daughter says his client feels overwhelming guilt.

41-year-old Jonathan Markle made his first court appearance Friday on charges of criminal vehicular homicide.

Markle was driving on Gray's Bay in Lake Minnetonka January 18 when his SUV broke through thin ice.

Markle, his wife and their two-year-old daughter were able to escape. Firefighters pulled eight-month-old Tabitha from the SUV, but she died at a hospital. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning.

Prosecutors say that Markle had a blood alcohol level of .13 two hours after the vehicle fell into the water.

Markle's attorney Joe Friedberg says that he doesn't know why his client decided to drive across the lake after a meal that night at Lord Fletcher's.

Friedberg says he's still investigating the charge against his client. He also says he's doing the best he can to get the Markle family through this time.

"It's just something I don't think any of us can comprehend," said Friedberg. "I mean, it's bad enough if a person loses a child. I don't know how to compound that by being the at fault for losing the child."

Bail for Markle was set at $10,000. Markle is scheduled to be back in court on March 4.

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