ANOKA, Minn. - A father appeared in Anoka County court Wednesday to answer to charges that his negligence resulted in the death of his 11-month-old daughter, Maddie.
The criminal complaint shows the father, Joseph Martin, left the girl unattended with his 3-year-old daughter in the bath tub.
Martin left the bathroom to watch TV in the living room and make a phone call. That's when the complaint says he fell asleep on the couch for approximately 30 minutes.
Maddie's screams went unanswered and she drowned before he woke up.
"I want everyone to know that I miss my daughter," said Martin outside of the courtroom Wednesday. "I grieve every day. I want everyone to know that I am a good person and this was a tragic accident."
Martin entered a not guilty plea to second degree manslaughter and neglect of a child; charges that could carry up to 10 and 5 years in prison respectively. Charges his attorney calls unnecessary.
"To charge him criminally now after he's already lost his child is just further punishment on what he just doesn't need," said attorney Marsh Halberg.
Since the girl died last November, Martin's wife has left him and he has lost custody of their other daughter.
He is asking the court for leniency as a trial date has been set for March 18, 2013.
"I pay emotionally every day and I will for the rest of my life," said Martin.
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