August 30, 2009

Charges against coach said hard to prove

Dueling experts will make it difficult to convict a former Kentucky high school coach in the death of a player from heat stroke, criminal law specialists said.

Jason Stinson goes on trial Monday in Jefferson Circuit Court, charged with reckless homicide and wanton endangerment, The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal reported Sunday.

Medical experts hired by each side dispute whether a lack of water was the cause of death of Max Gilpin, 15,. He collapsed Aug. 20, 2008, after running sprints at football practice.

The heat index that day reached 94. Gilpin's death certificate indicates he died Aug. 23, 2008, of complications from heat stroke.

Nine specialists told The Courier-Journal there are many reasons it will be hard to prove the charges. However, regardless of the outcome of the trial, both athletic trainers and lawyers say it is likely coaches will be more cautious about pushing players on hot summer days.