The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jul. 14, 2024

Man who hurt baby released from prison

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

A local man convicted last June of harming his young son was released early from prison Wednesday during a hearing held Wednesday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.

David Darst, 37, of Van Wert, was granted judicial release by Judge Sumner E. Walters, who heard the case on assignment from the Ohio Supreme Court, after serving 11 months of his two-year prison sentence for child endangering.

David Darst listens to final arguments during his second jury trial in June 2011. Darst was sentenced on a charge of child endangering after being convicted of injuring his 9-week-old son, Logan. (VW independent file photo)

Judge Walters placed Darst on post-release control for five years, ordered him not to be in the presence of minor children without adult supervision, must live with his mother in the Ohio city of Delaware and have a psychological assessment and complete recommended treatment.

After a hung-jury ended Darst’s first trial in March 2011, but Assistant County Prosecutor Eva Yarger made the decision to try him again, with a jury that time returning a verdict of guilty to a second-degree felony count of child endangering.

Yarger said at the time that the decision to retry Darst was an easy one. “I believed he did it and I felt the child deserved justice,” she said at the time, adding, “I think that’s why we trust in the jury system and I think this was the right verdict.”

Darst was accused of causing serious injuries, including bruising of the brain and chest injuries, to his then-9-week-old son. The boy was later put into foster care in April 2010, but died of unrelated cancer on January 21, 2011.

The balance of the two-year sentence was suspended.

Brandon Potter, 26, Coldwater, was arraigned on three counts of theft, each a felony of the fifth degree.  He entered a not guilty plea and was released on a surety bond. A pretrial conference was scheduled for Wednesday, June 13, at 8 a.m.

POSTED: 05/31/12 at 6:11 am. FILED UNDER: News