OTTAWA — Putnam County Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Basinger has denied a double jeopardy-based motion to dismiss on charges that include aggravated murder against a former Putnam County man.

In 2006, Travis D. Soto was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter related to the death of his two-year old son Julio Soto-Baldazo. The specifics of the case at the time charged Soto with having accidentally run over his son with an ATV on January 23. Through a plea agreement with the Putnam County Prosecutor’s office, Soto pleaded guilty to one count of felony child endangering and served the maximum sentence of five years in prison for the offense.

Then, last July, roughly ten years after pleading guilty in the case, Soto voluntarily entered the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, spoke with officials and confessed to a more direct role in his son’s death. Over the course of those conversations, Soto reportedly admitted to beating his son to death and staging the ATV accident. Tim Meyer, who served as sheriff at the time of Soto’s unsolicited admission, stated that Soto came in in an effort to “get right with God.”

Subsequent to that confession, a Putnam County grand jury indicted Soto on charges of aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault, kidnapping and tampering with evidence filed by the prosecutor’s office — charges that could place Soto, 30, in prison for the rest of his life. On October 11 of last year, Soto’s attorney, Joseph Benavidez, filed a motion to dismiss based on double jeopardy.

In his decision handed down late last week, Basinger asserted, “Double Jeopardy does not prohibit successive prosecutions, only successive prosecutions for the same offense.”

Further supporting his argument, Basinger stated the information available to the courts at the time of the 2006 prosecution, primarily supplied by Soto, was consistent with not only the outcome of the original case, but with the coroner’s report at the time, which listed the cause of death as “accidental.” However, new information gathered during Soto’s July 2016 admissions shed new light on the matter and opened the door for further prosecutions.

“The Defendant could not have reasonably believed that his 2006 neotiated plea to, and dismissal of, charges of Child Endangering and Involuntary Manslaughter based on his previoius narrative of events would bar prosecution of subsequent charges on newly discovered evidence which would transform the case from one of an accidental death to a purposeful homicide,” Basinger wrote in his judgment.

A trial date is not yet set in the matter.