A Pocatello man was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with seven years fixed, Tuesday in the death of his son.
According to police, on the night of April 15, 2012, Anthony Blake Viles was arguing with his son, 6-year-old Afton Allison. Afton pulled out a knife, and Viles liftened his open palm to Afton's face and “popped” him in the forehead. Afton toppled backward, and his head slammed against the floor, resulting in his death.
Viles was originally charged with first-degree murder, but the charge was amended to voluntary manslaughter.
In the sentencing, the defense called three character witnesses: a social worker who worked with Viles and Afton, his counselor when he was committed to the State Hospital South when he was declared incompetent, and his grandfather. All testified Viles was not violent, but he did not have the capacity to take care of a child with problems like Afton's.
Judge Stephen Dunn said this was a difficult case to decide, considering punishment is needed for a young boy's death, but he felt Vile's remorse was genuine, and is he rehabilitatable.