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Published: Tuesday, 1/20/2009

Toledo father convicted of attempting to kill daughter


A Toledo father accused of attempting to kill his young daughter by asphyxiation was convicted of attempted murder Tuesday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Thomas Bragg, 46, of 4129 Willys Pkwy., pleaded no contest to the charge, which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison. A second count of attempted murder and one count of felonious assault will be dismissed at his Feb. 25 sentencing.

Bragg was convicted of taking his then 3-year-old daughter to a parking lot July 9 where he attached a hose from the exhaust pipe into the vehicle with a tube. Assistant County Prosecutor J. Christopher Anderson said that although both Bragg and his daughter were in the vehicle, the door on Bragg's side of the car was cracked open and that the tube conducting the exhaust into the interior of the vehicle was just inches from his daughter's head.

"It constituted basically a death chamber back there," Mr. Anderson said, adding that fortunately a truck driver noticed the running vehicle with duct-taped lights and called for emergency crews.

Attorney Jack Viren had challenged Lucas County authority in the case saying that the incident occurred just yards over the state line in Michigan. However, Judge Linda Jennings denied a motion to dismiss the charges based on Mr. Viren's argument.

The judge agreed with the prosecutor's argument that the course of conduct that led to the incident began in Lucas County, including the taking of his daughter and gathering up of supplies.

Mr. Viren said yesterday that the reason behind Bragg's no contest plea was to allow for an appeal of that ruling.

Mr. Anderson said that Bragg told his daughter they were going camping and drove to the northwest corner of Telegraph and Stateline roads at about 4 a.m. There, he taped over the running lights and attached a hose from the vehicle's exhaust pipe to the rear passenger window.

The incident occurred just days after his estranged wife, Trista, announced she wanted a divorce. Mrs. Bragg was not in court yesterday but Mr. Anderson said she was aware of the plea and was in agreement with it.

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