By Sam Wildow
MIAMI COUNTY — The murder indictment against a Bradford man accused of causing the death of a one-year-old child was dismissed after he pleaded guilty to first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter.
On Wednesday, Joshua A. Mize, 30, of Bradford, accepted a plea agreement with prosecutors, entering pleas of guilty to first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter, second-degree felony child endangering, third-degree felony obstructing justice, third-degree felony tampering with evidence, and fifth-degree felony theft. The previous murder indictment was then dismissed.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors are recommending a prison term of a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 18 years. The charges of involuntary manslaughter and felony child endangering fall under Ohio Senate Bill 201, which requires the court to impose indefinite sentencing terms. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction could impose a longer prison term on Mize beyond his minimum prison term depending on other factors like his behavior in prison.
Mize would also be eligible to reduce his time spent in prison by 5-15% if he qualifies for good time credit through the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. The court also has the option to deny Mize that good time credit.
If the court chooses not to follow the prosecution’s recommendation in the plea agreement, Mize could be facing upwards of 26 to 31.5 years in prison.
Mize was first arrested in September 2021 in connection with the death of Caelyn Colon, a one-year-old child of Bradford. On Sept. 13, Bradford Fire and Rescue responded to the 100 block of East Vine Street in the village of Bradford on the report of a one-year-old child not breathing. The child was resuscitated and transported to Upper Valley Medical Center. Later, the child was transferred to Dayton Children’s Hospital.
According to the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, a criminal investigation was initiated by Miami County Sheriff’s detectives due to doctors concluding that the injuries present on the child were from suspected abuse. The child, Colon, died at Dayton Children’s Hospital on Sept. 14. According to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, the child died due to trauma to the head and neck.
Mize was apprehended on Sept. 15 in Clark County by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office after a brief manhunt subsequent to his fleeing on foot. Mize is also on active parole with the Ohio Adult Parole Authority. He has a previous felony record of third-degree felony trafficking cocaine.
A sentencing hearing for Mize is scheduled for May 5 in Miami County Common Pleas Court. The court ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be conducted prior to the hearing.