ZANESVILLE, Ohio -- A Muskingum County jury has issued a verdict of "not guilty" in the re-trial of a man charged in the drowning deaths of his two stepsons.
The Zanesville Times Recorder reports that 40-year-old Richard Klein Jr. reunited with his family after the verdict Thursday in Muskingum County court.
Klein, who took the stand in his own defense for the first time in this two-year saga on Wednesday, recounted meeting Kasey Klein in 2010 and developing a close relationship with her two boys, Anthony and Ayden. The boys both drowned in the Muskingum River after leaving a tent in the early-morning hours of a family campout along the river, near Ellis Dam north of Zanesville. Detectives found Anthonyâs body a few hours later, in the river. Aydenâs body was never found.
The Kleins were convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangering in 2012 and sentenced to 12 years each. In January, the 5th District Court of Appeals overturned that verdict, agreeing with Richard Kleinâs claim that the two should have been tried separately.
Kasey Klein is scheduled to be tried again on June 25.