Parent of drowning victim charged

HERMITAGE, Pa. — The father of a 2-year-old boy who drowned in a Masury backyard pool in early September has been charged with three felonies connected to the incident, according to a spokesman for Mercer County District Court in Sharon.

David Gammon, 35, the father of Annakin Gammon, was arraigned Tuesday on one count of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Judge Dennis M. Songer set bond at $150,000, according to court records.

Gammon will have a hearing before Songer at 8:45 a.m. Nov. 17, the court record shows. Gammon, who was booked at 11:54 a.m. Tuesday, is still in custody at the Mercer County Jail, records show.

An investigation began after Annakin Gammon was pronounced dead at 10:23 p.m. Sept. 10 in the emergency room of Sharon Regional Health System. Earlier that evening, the boy was found unresponsive in a backyard swimming pool in the 600 block of Syme Street in Masury, several blocks from his Sharon home.

The boy and his 5-year-old brother were the subjects of a neighborhood wide search after it was reported the two had wandered away from their Lafayette Street home in Sharon.

According to a criminal affidavit from Sharon police, Gammon was negligent after he passed out in his home while watching the boys. The dad told police he was unconscious for about 30 minutes after drinking four malt liquors while watching football, the report states.

Mercer County Coroner John A. Libonati ruled the boy’s death was caused by drowning.

The older boy, a 5-year-old, was found safe about 5:30 p.m. a few blocks from the Syme Street home where the 2-year-old was found.

According to Brookfield police detective Aaron Kasiewicz, Annakin was found by a Vienna firefighter in a 4-foot high, backyard above-ground pool. Medics at the scene performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the toddler before he was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

The search for the two boys encompassed more than a dozen blocks involving about 100 neighbors, police and fire personnel, police dogs, a Pennsylvania State Police helicopter and an Austintown police drone.