The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

March 15, 2014

Grand jury could get Conneaut child endangering case soon

CONNEAUT — Ashtabula County’s grand jury very soon could hear the case of a Conneaut man arrested after the little girl left in his care died of head injuries early last month.

Meanwhile, authorities are still awaiting lab results on evidence that could result in additional charges against Joshua Million, 25.

Ahead of that, the grand jury is expected to get Million’s felony child endangering charge next week or the week after, sources said. Million was bound over on the charge after he waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Conneaut Municipal Court on Feb. 10.

At issue is the death of 4-year-old Melanie “Lanie” Powell, who succumbed to “blunt impact injuries of the head” on Feb. 7 at a Cleveland hospital. The injury was discovered the night before by the child’s mother, who rushed her to UH Conneaut Medical Center. The child had been placed in the care of Million, the mother’s boyfriend, while she was working the second shift at a local industry.

Million told police he placed the child in a bathtub and then fell asleep at a kitchen table. When Million awoke and checked the girl, she was unconscious, he told investigators.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office labeled the death a homicide, meaning death resulted at the hands of another. Legally, homicide can differ from murder.

More charges could be filed once results are received from evidence submitted for testing. Crime labs and other agencies are analyzing the evidence. The proceedings can take weeks to complete, meaning the wait in this case is not unusual, officials said.

“Based on what I’ve seen, (the time frame) is pretty typical,” said Ashtabula County Prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci. “We want to make sure we have all the evidence.”

Million is confined at the county jail, segregated from other inmates for his own safety. He is being held for violating the conditions of the probation he was granted on a 2013 traffic case. One of the conditions was that he stayed out of trouble.

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