Van Wert man found not guilty in child endangerment case
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 12:01 AM
VAN WERT – A 38-year-old Van Wert man, accused of child endangering was found not guilty of the second-degree felony charge in a two-day trial which ended Tuesday afternoon. Tracy Hartman was arraigned in April 2013 in connection with a severe injury which happened to 20-month-old girl while at Hartman’s residence. A jury of 10 men and 2 women took only 36 minutes of deliberations to come up with the not guilty verdict.
Tracy Hartman (right) and attorney Dillon Staas listen to testimony during the Hartman’s trial Monday. Hartman was found not guilty of a second-degree charge of child endangering in a two-day trial that ended Tuesday. (DHI Media/Ed Gebert)
After the verdict was read, Hartman, in shirt and tie, smiled broadly and held his hands to his forehead in relief. Once court was adjourned, Hartman embraced his attorney, Dillon Staas, then left the courtroom a free man.
The jurors listened to recorded testimony from doctors with differing opinions on the plausibility of the defendant’s account of the injury. Hartman had claimed that while he was out of the room, the little girl had fallen off a bed onto the floor of a bedroom, knocking over a fan in the process. One pediatrician at a Dayton hospital alerted authorities to what she considered deliberate abuse injuries, while a doctor speaking for the defense contradicted that opinion.