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Testimony opens in second trial of Midwest City man charged in drowning

A Cleveland County jury began hearing evidence Wednesday in the second trial for a Midwest City man charged with first-degree murder in the drowning of a 2-year-old girl. A December trial for Donald Reeser, 31, ended in a deadlocked jury.
BY JANE GLENN CANNON jcannon@opubco.com Modified: April 6, 2011 at 6:00 pm •  Published: April 6, 2011
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— A defense attorney for a Midwest City man on trial for first-degree murder in the drowning of a 2-year-old girl told a Cleveland County jury Wednesday the child's death was a “tragic accident.”

A second tragedy occurred when Donald Reeser, 31, was charged with killing Allie Croom, 2, attorney Elton Jenkins said.

Prosecutor Christy Miller said Reeser is responsible for the girl's death because he dunked her repeatedly in Lake Stanley Draper while on a family outing June 18, 2009.

Allie was terrified of water and screamed in protest when Reeser pulled her into the lake by her legs and dunked her, Miller said.

Jenkins and Miller presented their views on the case in opening statements before District Judge Tracy Schumacher in what is the second trial for Reeser.

A jury that heard the case in December deliberated about 14 hours over two days without reaching a verdict. A mistrial was declared.

Miller told jurors Reeser's son, Brady, who was 5 at the time, will testify that his father was angry with Allie when he pulled her into the water.

Brady is the sole witness to what happened because Allie's mother and 3-year-old sister had left the water to walk to the car, Miller said.

The mother will testify that when she returned, Reeser was carrying Allie to the car because something was “terribly wrong” with her, Miller said.

When the child began vomiting water and blood, the mother tried to resuscitate her in the car while Reeser drove them to Midwest City Regional Hospital, the prosecutor said.

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