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Published: Friday, 4/1/2011

Man, 18, charged in death of boy, 3


Ronald Pheils Ronald Pheils
A man has been charged with reckless homicide in the death of a 3-year-old boy who died of severe head injuries sustained in his Perrysburg Township home Saturday.

Ronald Pheils, 18, remained in the Wood County jail Thursday night in lieu of $100,000 bond. He is charged with one count of reckless homicide, a third-degree felony.

He is accused of causing the death of Joshua Cox by violently shaking him. The boy lived in the 28000 block of Hufford Road in Perrysburg Township.

An EMS crew responding there Saturday to a call about an unresponsive child took him to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, where he died that day.

Lucas County Coroner James Patrick said the boy's head injuries were "not inconsistent" with severe shaking, but that no final ruling on the manner and cause of death has been made.

"There are a number of things we have to evaluate," Dr. Patrick said. "We have to do a whole series of things before we make a final ruling."

The death is under investigation by the Perrysburg Township police. Mr. Pheils' preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 7 in Perrysburg Municipal Court. He was arrested Monday.

Joshua is survived by his parents, Stephanie Cox and Donald Murphy; brothers, Ray and Tony Cox, and grandparents, great-grandparents, and aunts.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in the Sujkowski Funeral Home, Rossford.

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