WKBN - YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WKBN) - A man was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for the cocaine death of his girlfriend's son.
Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas Judge Scott Krichbaum sentenced Kevin Gamble on Thursday as part of an agreed sentence.
Gamble pleaded guilty to child endangering and involuntary manslaughter in October, right before jury selection was scheduled to begin in the trial.
Gamble and Raenell Allen were arrested in May after an investigation into the death of 9-year-old Marcus Lee, who was Allen's son.
Prosecutors said Lee died the day after Christmas from what doctors called "acute cocaine toxicity." A police report said he was having seizures and couldn't breathe on his own. Police say the boy ingested an amount equal to more than two dozen doses of the drug.
The victim's father, also named Marcus Lee, said he can't understand how the death could have happened.
"How could he ingest all those drugs with nobody around," Lee said. "I know my son is…he was way too young to die like that."
Prosecutors never determined how the boy got a hold of the drugs. Gamble has a long history of drug arrests and convictions but told the judge Thursday there is no proof the cocaine was his.
"A life is lost and it seems nobody really cares on how it was lost. They found a scapegoat and they are running with that," Gamble said.
Judge Scott Krichbaum asked Gamble if he would rather risk going in front of a jury and face an even longer sentence and he said no.
"Your honor, if I didn't have ten more kids I would take that chance, but I just want to go and get back to my family," Gamble said.
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