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Husband cleared in child's drowning at baby sitter's pool

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Child cruelty charges against a Buford man arrested after a 2-year-old boy got into his backyard pool and drowned last year have been dropped, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Police arrested Shawn Moon and his spouse, Tanya, in March 2009 on second-degree child cruelty and reckless conduct charges after Abiola Bankolehoh wandered into their backyard, climbed into an above-ground pool and did not resurface, authorities said.

An indictment released Thursday shows prosecutors are going forward with the case against Tanya Moon, but with a lesser charge of contributing to the delinquency, unruliness or deprivation of a minor.

Carole Cox, Assistant District Attorney, confirmed that charges against Shawn Moon have been dismissed. Police said he was elsewhere at the time of the drowning, while his wife was tasked with baby sitting the victim and three other children that day.

Cox declined to discuss the case further because it is pending, she said.

Tanya Moon's attorney, Gayle Csehy, did not return a call seeking comment.

Investigators said she watched the children on a daily basis, though she was not a licensed child caretaker, as the state requires. The couple spent more than a week in the Gwinnett County Jail following the accusations.

In other indictments of note:

* The grand jury indicted Ronald Edward Smith on counts of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, hijacking a motor vehicle and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a felony.

Smith, 51, is accused of carjacking and killing Genai Coleman, 40, as she waited to pick up her daughter outside a Duluth restaurant on July 18, 2008.

Investigators said Smith shot the elementary school teacher, stole her Dodge Stratus and fled the county. DNA found on a cigarette butt helped lead authorities to Smith's twin brother, Donald, who was initially charged with the slaying.

Ronald Smith later confessed, blaming the killing on the hairpin trigger of a .357 Magnum that was never recovered, authorities have said.

* Lawrenceville resident Dewayne Green, 49 was indicted on charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and violation of a family violence order.

Green is accused of viciously beating a 2-year-old Dachshund in front of his family in a January rage. Authorities were alerted to the situation when Green's wife applied for a temporary protective order to thwart his behavior, officials said.

Despite a fractured skull and evidence of strangulation, the dog, "Rocky," is expected to recover, save some long term damage to its eye, police said.