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Sentencing Announced For Homer Farmer In 2015 Death Of Minor

Local News

The Cortland County farmer held responsible for the death of a 14-year-old employee back in July 2015 was sentenced in Cortland County Court yesterday (January 17).

Luke Park, owner of the Park Family Farm on East River Road in Homer, was ordered before Justice Julie Campbell to serve 60 days in jail and 3 years of probation

The Attorney General indicted Park in November 2016, stemming from the July 2015 incident at the farm where 14-year-old Alex Smith was killed after being pinned under a hydraulic forklift preparing bails of hay.

The medical examiner’s autopsy concluded that the boy’s chest and abdomen were crushed, resulting in his death by mechanical asphyxiation.

Child labor laws explicitly prohibit use by minors of the machine that ultimately killed him.

“It is unconscionable that any individual would knowingly put a child in harm’s way,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “This incident is a tragic reminder that child labor laws exist for a reason. My office will continue to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law employers who unlawfully put children in danger.”

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