October 20, 2014

Medina
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Mother takes plea deal in smothering case

MEDINA — A mother accused of trying to smother her 6-year-old son with a pillow has pleaded guilty to reduced charges as part of a plea deal.

Terry Boyle, 32, now of Cleveland but formerly of Medina, pleaded guilty Thursday to child endangerment in exchange for prosecutors dropping charges of attempted murder and felonious assault.

Terry Boyle

Terry Boyle

Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier set her sentencing hearing for May 19.

Boyle faces up to three years in prison — reduced from 11 or more under the original charges.

“We dismissed charges so the son wouldn’t have to testify against his mom,” county Prosecutor Dean Holman said.

“It would be a difficult case to try and prove.”

Boyle was arrested in July after her counselor at Alternative Paths, a behavioral health care agency in Medina, called police after Boyle said she felt “homicidal” toward her son, according to records.

Psychiatrists are “mandated reporters” under Ohio law, meaning they must alert police when they suspect a child might be in danger.

Following her indictment in August, Boyle’s family started an online petition to get her acquitted. She told online readers she put a couch pillow over her son’s head “for a split second” to stop him from fighting with his 4-year-old sister.

The petition later was closed down with 79 signatures after county Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler recused himself from her case, saying he’d received emails against his will every time someone signed the petition.

Boyle is free on 10 percent of a $500,000 bond.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.