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Published: 4/11/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Landlord pleads not guilty in deaths of family

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

OBJECTHolding a rosary in his hand, Steven Snow entered the Lucas County Courthouse Monday to face felony charges that he recklessly caused the death of a mother and her three children with the fumes of a gas-powered generator.

Steven Snow, right, appears in Lucas County Common Pleas Court with his lawyer, Scott Schwab. Mr. Snow is charged with reckless homicide in the deaths of four tenants by carbon monoxide poisoning. After being fingerprinted and photographed, Mr. Snow was to be freed on a supervised bond. 
Steven Snow, right, appears in Lucas County Common Pleas Court with his lawyer, Scott Schwab. Mr. Snow is charged with reckless homicide in the deaths of four tenants by carbon monoxide poisoning. After being fingerprinted and photographed, Mr. Snow was to be freed on a supervised bond.
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And although he left the common pleas courtroom in handcuffs to be booked in the jail, family members of the victims expressed anger that he was to be released pending the outcome of the case.

Mr. Snow, 49, of 310 South Ave. pleaded not guilty Monday to four counts of reckless homicide. He is charged in the March 22 deaths of Tamara McDaniel, 39; Damien Reyes, 18; Domonique Reyes, 16, and Taralynn Wood, 10.

The four died from acute carbon monoxide poisoning at a home owned by Mr. Snow.

Mr. Snow was taken into custody Monday to be fingerprinted and photographed and then released on a supervised bond. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

“I’m angry,” said Bonnie Putman, whose 13-year-old grandson, Daniel McDaniel, lost his mother and siblings. “… How can he not know that he couldn’t put a gas generator in the house? It says right on there.”

Authorities said Mr. Snow set up a gas-powered generator to hook up an electric heater in the home at 1319 Hamilton St., which had no water or electricity. The generator was hooked up in the kitchen, just feet from the couches where the family fell asleep.

They, as well as the family dog, were pronounced dead at 10:30 a.m. March 23.

In an interview with The Blade, Mr. Snow said he had known the family for a long time and that he had intended to leave the generator at the home for just a few hours to help heat it up.

He said that he never made it back to the home because he had fallen asleep after taking medications for a work-related injury.

Monday, he said little as he stood with attorney Scott Schwab before Judge Stacy Cook. His wife, Elizabeth, tearfully left the courtroom after his arraignment.
Judge Cook set a May 2 court date.

Assistant County Prosecutor Tim Braun said that the supervised bond was appropriate because Mr. Snow voluntarily appeared in court after being summoned.

Mr. Braun reiterated that the charges Mr. Snow faces are that he “recklessly” caused the four deaths when he disregarded a known risk. In this case, the known risk was “a working generator inside a home without proper ventilation.”

Ms. Putman said that neither her grandson nor Ms. McDaniel’s other surviving son appeared in court Monday. She said that while Ms. McDaniel, Damien, Domonique, and Taralynn are with God, the two remaining sons face their pain every day.

“They’re the ones I feel sorry for,” she said.

Contact Erica Blake at: eblake@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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