EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The lawyer of the mother whose 3-year-old son drowned in a Northeast El Paso water park in May has responded after she was recently charged with injury of a child, which is a first-degree felony charge.
Ryan S. MacLeod who is currently representing Jessica Weaver, responded by saying that the charge against Jessica Weaver and El Paso District Attorney Bill Hicks’ press conference were “clearly an act of vindictive retaliation against Ms. Weaver and another example of the City refusing to accept responsibility for Anthony’s death.”
MacLeod says if the city and the DA had any interest in seeking justice for Anthony and holding the responsible parties accountable, Hicks would be pursuing charges against the “17 lifeguards and the water park officials who were ultimately responsible for ensuring the safety of the water park guests.”
As we have previously reported, Weaver’s 3-year-old son, Anthony Leo Malave, was found unresponsive in a pool at Camp Cohen Water Park by officers on Saturday afternoon, May 13.
Fire Medical Services transported the child to a local hospital, where investigators later learned the boy had died the following morning on Sunday, May 14.
MacLeod says he was informed by the city’s attorney that the El Paso DA’s Office might pursue criminal charges against her for the death of her son.
MacLeod adds he nor Weaver “heard anything more about potential criminal charges until almost two months later on Tuesday, Aug. 29, when over a dozen law enforcement officers stormed into an Indiana home yelling at Ms. Weaver and claiming she was a ‘fugitive from justice.’”
MacLeod also says the city demonstrated its “lack of care regarding Anthony’s death when it ignored its deadline to answer the lawsuit for an entire week before finally filing an answer.”
As KTSM has previously reported, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Weaver in July after her son’s death, Anthony Leo Malave, against Destination El Paso and the city, alleging gross negligence and wrongful death.
MacLeod also responded to Hicks’ press conference, stating Hicks pulled a “political stunt” and did not mention the lawsuit that was filed two months ago against the city, how the city allegedly destroyed video that would have captured Anthony’s drowning, that life jackets were available only on a first come, first serve basis on the day of Anthony’s drowning and that no outside flotation devices were allowed in the water park on the day of Anthony’s drowning.
MacLeod also says Hicks did not mention the 17 lifeguards on duty who were hired with “no experience required” and were responsible for “enforcing all rules and regulations, providing needed supervision to prevent accidents and recognizing/responding to all emergency situations.”
MacLeod adds that Hicks also failed to mention the “numerous changes made by the city to Camp Cohen’s rules and policies as result of Anthony’s drowning” and the 17 lifeguards around Camp Cohen “did not know how to perform their jobs as lifeguards” and had “zero clue how to perform medical life-saving measures after Anthony was pulled from the pool.”
MacLeod finished his response by stating “if the DA has any interest in seeking the truth of what led to Anthony’s tragic death, we invite him and the media to attend two upcoming depositions in the civil lawsuit.”