Father wants to withdraw guilty plea of endangering daughter's life due to severe tooth decay

By - Bad Breath Expert

SUMMARY:  A man is looking to withdraw his guilty plea on charges of neglecting his 6-year-old daughter to the point where 16 of her 20 teeth were rotten.

Posted: May 6, 2015

Lehigh Township, Pennsylvania, police arrested Kenneth Wanamaker Jr. on charges of child endangerment after it was found he let his 6-year-old daughter's teeth rot to the point where her life was in danger. Last month, Wanamaker pleaded guilty to recklessly endangering another person and false swearing weeks before he was even set to go to trial, which resulted in a sentencing of 38 days to 18 months in county jail and six months on probation, according to the Morning Call.

Wanamaker,37, now wants to withdraw his guilty plea after claiming that he didn't fully understand the charges, according to a motion filed April 22.

 "I never endangered my child's life," Wanamaker said. "I never neglected care for my child. That's not me."

In August, Dentist Eugene McGuire testified that 16 of the girl's 20 teeth were "either abscessed, needed to be pulled or had severe root and tooth decay." She wasn't able to receive any treatment until case workers got involved.

Wanamaker's false swearing charge came as a result allegedly lying about his drug use. As a result of his original guilty plea, Wanamaker would have had to go through regular drug and alcohol evaluation. He is also citing a violation of his Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel, given that he believes his attorney wasn't given enough time to obtain evidence or thoroughly interview witnesses. 

Jessica Hoffman, 32, the girl's mother, is also being charged, but her trial has been pushed back until June as a result of her being given a new attorney.

Wanamaker said that he will present documentation to prove that his daughter's tooth decay wasn't as severe as officials have said and that her life, in fact, was not in danger. It is also being reported that authorities are looking into whether severe neglect could have played a role in the pneumonia-related death of the couple's seven-month-old son back in 2011. 

Pediatric dental disease
Childhood tooth decay, also referred to as pediatric dental disease, is actually the No. 1 chronic childhood illness. If gone untreated, pediatric dental disease may require surgery to prevent some of its more serious symptoms, such as pain, infection, being malnourished and, in worst case scenarios, death. 

To put in perspective how common pediatric dental disease is, it's five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever, both of which plague children on a large scale. 

Ways to prevent pediatric dental disease is by practicing good dental hygiene while attending regular visits to the dentist.

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