The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 14, 2013

In brief: Accident closes highway for a time

(Continued)

SOUTH FORK —

Homicide charge dismissed in tot’s death

INDIANA – A district judge dismissed a homicide charge against a woman in the accidental drowning of her 13-month-old son in a bathtub.

Tonya Thomas, 25, remains charged in Indiana County with endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person.

Homer City District Judge Susanne Steffee ruled after a preliminary hearing Monday that there was insufficient evidence for the homicide charge.

Prosecutors accused Thomas of leaving her son, Ryden, in the bathtub along with two

siblings, a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old, on Feb. 2 at the family home in White Township.

Defense attorney Bradley Ophaug called the death “a tragic accident.”

Thomas, who is due to give birth shortly, declined comment.

Wesley Thomas, 24, earlier waived his right to a preliminary hearing on similar endangerment charges.

Ex-coach charged in sex with 2 players

ALTOONA – A former assistant soccer coach at Altoona Area High School has been charged with having romantic and sexual relationships with two players.

The defense attorney for Kyla Hollingshead, 24, of Altoona, told the Altoona Mirror the defendant maintains she’s innocent of charges of felony institutional sexual assault and corruption of minors.

Altoona police said that Hollingshead began the first alleged relationship with a

15-year-old player in October 2010, about two months after Hollingshead was hired at the school.

The second relationship allegedly began in October with a 16-year-old player.

Police said Hollingshead gave that girl a “promise ring” and threatened suicide if the relationship ended, which it did in late 2012.

Still, police said, Hollings­head sent the girl flowers and a Valentine card proclaiming the girl was the love of her life.

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