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Dad admits killing 6-year-old son while playing videogames

James Dearman
James Dearman

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – A southwest Florida man who kept playing videogames after pinning his 6-year-old son to the couch on Christmas Eve has pleaded guilty to killing the boy.

The Herald Tribune reported that 31-year-old James Dearman pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated manslaughter of a child in the death of his son Jimmy.

He faces up to 20 years in prison at a July 28 hearing in Englewood, which is near Port Charlotte.

Dearman and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Ashley Cole, were playing videogames when they heard Jimmy and his sister making noises in their bedroom, the Herald Tribune reported

The children were told to put their noses against the wall as a form of punishment. Jimmy did not and watched his father and Cole continue to play videogames.

Dearman and Cole used their weight to pin the boy to the couch, despite the boy's complaints that he couldn't breathe, according to The Herald Tribune.

Cole sat on his back and Dearman sat on his shoulder, investigators said.

After Cole and Dearman left to smoke in the garage, they came back 10 minutes later and called police after finding the boy unresponsive, the Herald Tribune reported.

The boy was later pronounced dead at Englewood Hospital.

Cole pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter of a child. She has not yet been sentenced.

Jimmy weighed 45 pounds at the time of his death. Dearman weighed about 279 pounds, the Herald Tribune reported.