Kuhn takes plea

Dolores man to be sentenced Sept. 25 for infant daughter's death

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A 19-year-old Dolores man pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon in district court on a charge of manslaughter that involved the death of his infant daughter.

When Dylan Kuhn is sentenced on Sept. 25, he faces a cap of four years in prison under the plea agreement that Judge Douglas Walker could still reject. Probation is also possible.

According to court documents, police said Kuhn admitted to slamming his infant daughter down on a bed in the early hours of Nov. 1.

The alleged admission came after a medical doctor ruled that the death appeared to be caused by the infant being slammed against a soft, but unyielding surface.

According to Montezuma County Sheriff's Office reports, Kuhn had initially told investigators he was sleeping in bed with his infant daughter and awoke to find the infant hanging over the side of the bed with a blanket wrapped around her neck. He said she was not breathing so he attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation and called 911. The infant was pronounced dead at the hospital.

District Attorney Russell Wasley said that under the terms of the plea, the May 22 charges for driving under the influence of drugs along with other charges would be dismissed.

By pleading guilty, Kuhn admitted he was at fault for causing the death of another and took an unjustifiable risk that resulted in his daughter's death.

The presumptive sentence for manslaughter is two to six years in prison, though Walker explained mitigating circumstances could decrease the prison sentence to one year in prison, and aggravating circumstances could increase the prison sentence to 12 years.

Walker said if Kuhn is sentenced to any prison time the defendant also would be sentenced to three years parole upon release.

Walker informed Kuhn the court had received letters of support on the plea agreement being too harsh and said the letters asked for a more lenient sentence.

Wasley, informed the court he thinks prison time is appropriate.

Walker told Kuhn that he would put a lot of weight into the pre-sentence investigation report in deciding whether to accept the plea and what sentence he will impose.

Reach Michael Maresh at michaelm@cortezjournal.com