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Lancaster County farmer placed on 23-month property arrest following death of 4-year-old son

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LANCASTER COUNTY — A Salisbury Township man will spend up to 23 months on property arrest followed by three years of probation after pleading no contest to one of the charges against him in the death of his four-year-old son last year.

Alvin F. Beiler, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of children after his son died on Beiler’s farm on the 500 block of Cambridge Road on May 30, 2018.

Investigators determined the boy was playing near a feed mixer, fell inside, and died when Beiler turned the machine on. Beiler said he thought the boy “disappeared” prior to activating the machine and went inside after turning it on.

He realized the boy was inside about 20 minutes later, Beiler told investigators.

After Beiler pleaded no contest to the endangering the welfare of children charge, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office decided not to prosecute him on the involuntary manslaughter charge.

Beiler will be confined to his property for six to 23 months, according to LancasterOnline. The arrangement was made as an alternative to electronic monitoring house arrest due to Beiler’s vocation as a farmer. Beiler will have to stay on the property unless he coordinates with his probation officer for off-site errands, church, and church-related activities, including weddings, prosecutors say.

Beiler will be allowed to attend a wedding in Virginia in November, according to the terms of his plea.

Beiler will also take parenting classes and devote eight hours of community service telling Amish families about the dangers of farming, according to the district attorney’s office.


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