Charges: Dad drunk in baby girl's icy Lake Minnetonka drowning

Charges: Dad drunk in baby girl's icy Lake Minnetonka drowning

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  • 8-month-old girl dies after family SUV plunges into icy lake

    8-month-old girl dies after family SUV plunges into icy lake

    Wednesday, January 23 2013 12:36 AM EST2013-01-23 05:36:51 GMT
    The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has confirmed that the 8-month-old girl who spent a quarter of an hour submerged in icy waters after her family's SUV plunged through has died.
    The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has confirmed that the 8-month-old girl who spent a quarter of an hour submerged in icy waters after her family's SUV plunged through the ice on Lake Minnetonka has died.
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

A Minnetrista man was charged Thursday with criminal vehicular homicide in the drowning death of his 8-month-old daughter last month on Lake Minnetonka.  According to the charges, Jonathan Markle, 41, was drunk when he drove his SUV over a channel, breaking through the ice.

At about 5 p.m. on Jan. 18, Markle was driving the family's Nissan Rogue SUV when it broke through the ice between Priest Bay and Halsted Bay. Prosecutors said Thursday "a child died because of the recklessness of her father."

Officials said the ice under the bridge was thinner than in other areas of the lake, and warnings were posted at the time. Three people have died this year alone in incidents of vehicles breaking through the ice on Lake Minnetonka.

Markle, his wife and another child were able to escape, but Tabitha remained in the water for 15 to 20 minutes. Rescuers had to take off their cold water protection gear to get into the SUV to rescue the 8-month-old from her car seat.

Tabitha Markle was pulled from the water unconscious and not breathing. She died three days later at the hospital.

At the hospital, Jonathan Markle admitted to having two beers at Lord Fletcher's restaurant on Lake Minnetonka. A blood draw revealed a blood alcohol content of .13.

Markle will make an initial court appearance Friday afternoon.

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