Professor dad is jailed for between two and 15 YEARS after his unsupervised and severely autistic son, 16, drowned in an icy backyard pool with his hands bound

 A Michigan college professor will spend up to 15 years in prison over the death of his autistic teenage son, who drowned after spending an hour in an icy backyard pool with his arms restrained.

Timothy Koets, 51, was sentenced Monday to a minimum of two years and a maximum of 15 years behind bars after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child abuse. 

Koets' 16-year-old son, Samuel, died in March 2019 after being left unsupervised at the family home in Georgetown Township, about 170 miles west of Detroit. 

The teen was autistic, nonverbal and functioned at the level of a two-year-old child. 

'Sam had value, and the sanction will not restore Sam, but it will recognize that all humans have value, and because of the neglect you committed, a valuable human has lost his life,' Ottawa County Circuit Court Judge Jon Hulsing said before handing down his sentence.  

Timothy Koets, 51, was sentenced Monday to a minimum of two years and a maximum of 15 years behind bars after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child abuse over the death of his son, Samuel

Timothy Koets, 51, was sentenced Monday to a minimum of two years and a maximum of 15 years behind bars after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child abuse over the death of his son, Samuel 

Koets, a former Grand Rapids Community College professor
Samuel  Koets, 16

Koets, a former Grand Rapids Community College professor (left), was charged with a felony in October 2019, months after 16-year-old Samuel  Koets (right) died of cold water drowning  

Authorities said Timothy and his wife, Michelle Koets, would often restrain Samuel's arms to prevent him from harming himself or others.

On the day he died, Samuel's arms were bound before Koets left his son to head off to work at Grand Rapids Community College.

Koets said he woke Michelle before leaving so she could watch Samuel.

However, she had just worked a night shift as a registered nurse and fell back asleep shortly after her husband said he was leaving.


Authorities said Koets knew Samuel later got into the icy pool because his 13-year-old daughter texted him a photo of the boy standing in the water. 

Koets allegedly replied, 'Make sure the freak is OK.' 

In an interview with Inside Edition in January, Koets claimed that the term 'freak' was a light-hearted nickname. 

Samuel, died in March 2019 after being left unsupervised at the family home in Georgetown Township, about 170 miles west of Detroit

Samuel, died in March 2019 after being left unsupervised at the family home in Georgetown Township, about 170 miles west of Detroit

Koets¿ 13-year-old daughter texted him a photo of Sam in the pool with his arms bound and he allegedly replied, 'make sure the freak is OK'

Koets’ 13-year-old daughter texted him a photo of Sam in the pool with his arms bound and he allegedly replied, 'make sure the freak is OK'

Koets subsequently instructed the daughter to get her mother. 

Michelle Koets was woken by the girl before she sprinted to get her son out of the pool, where he had been for about an hour. 

By that point, Samuel had gone under and couldn't be resuscitated despite attempts by arriving rescuers.

After the death, investigators found that Samuel, who had a history of aggression toward himself and others, lived in 'deplorable' conditions.

'They say he was kept in a basement with no windows where his mattress was without sheets and had fecal matter on it.

'Fecal matter was smeared on the walls and dirty diapers were found throughout the room', documents alleged. 

Joel Koets, Timothy's cousin, told Mlive.com both he and Michelle were 'saints' for the way they treated their son and strove to improve his life.

Joel Koets, Timothy's cousin, told Mlive.com both he and Michelle were 'saints' for the way they treated their son and strove to improve his life.

Koets' attorney David Kallman described the situation as a 'very unique and tragic' case, noting in court Monday that his client will have to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life.

A pediatrician familiar with the family and Timothy's relative both described the Koets couple as loving parents who took care of their severely disabled son.

Joel Koets, Timothy's cousin, told Mlive.com both he and Michelle were 'saints' for the way they treated their son and strove to improve his life. 

Michelle Koets is pictured with her son Samuel in an old photo shared on social media

Michelle Koets is pictured with her son Samuel in an old photo shared on social media 

But Paul Kraus, Ottawa County prosecuting attorney, alleged that Samuel was 'routinely' left unattended even though he could not care for himself. 

He said authorities had been called 15 times to the family home, mainly because Samuel 'was unattended and had escaped from the residence.'

Timothy Koets told the court he and the family learned to manage Samuel's autism as best as they could and mentioned that he had used the word 'freak' to describe his son in a text conversation with his daughter.

'The words that I used were not good,' he said Monday. 

'It was a way of blowing off steam and I'm not excusing myself for that, but I would never harm or abuse Sam.'

After their son's death, authorities said the Koets continued to fill their son's Ritalin prescription for months and used the drugs themselves.

Koets was also sentenced Monday to between two and four years in prison in the Ritalin case after also pleading guilty to obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

Michelle Koets was sentenced in June 2019 to 21 days in jail on a misdemeanor charge of obtaining a controlled substance by false representation.

Timothy Koets had been a full-time faculty member at Grand Rapids Community College, but he was terminated by the school in January 2020.

'I would never harm or abuse Sam': Koets will spend a minimum of two years behind bars after pleading guilty to manslaughter

'I would never harm or abuse Sam': Koets will spend a minimum of two years behind bars after pleading guilty to manslaughter

Professor dad is jailed for between two and 15 YEARS after his unsupervised and severely autistic son, 16, drowned in an icy backyard pool with his hands bound Professor dad is jailed for between two and 15 YEARS after his unsupervised and severely autistic son, 16, drowned in an icy backyard pool with his hands bound Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:19 Rating: 5

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