Father pleads guilty in son's Freon death

SALT LAKE CITY - A father who pumped Freon gas into his son's bath to entertain the boy with the bubbles pleaded guilty to child-abuse homicide in the 4-year-old's death.

With Monday's plea, Michael Jeffrey Bunting, 31, avoided a trial on murder charges. He could get up to 15 years in prison at sentencing Dec. 8.

The boy was asphyxiated last year after his father used a pressurized Freon canister and a hose to make bubbles in the youngster's bath.

''It was a terrible accident,'' defense attorney Ed Montgomery said. ''Without thinking or, perhaps, thinking too quickly, Mike thought it would be fun for Jeremy.''

Prosecutors had charged the father with murder because he is an air conditioning installer licensed to carry Freon, a refrigerant, and was expected to know the dangers posed by the gas.


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