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SOUTH S.L. MAN CHARGED IN CHOKING DEATH OF HIS SON

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A South Salt Lake man was charged Friday with criminal homicide, a first-degree felony, in connection with the death of his toddler son.

Eric E. Duff, 23, is charged with shoving a small plastic ball down the throat of 1-year-old Eaon R. Duff and suffocating the child.Court documents say that on June 14, in a house near 2800 South and 200 East, Duff became angry because Eaon put the ball into his mouth after being told not to do it. While Eaon sat on his mother's lap, Duff slapped him and shoved the ball into the child's mouth, saying, "If you want this ball, you can have it."

The child began choking immediately. After failed attempts by the mother to remove the ball, Duff called 911. Paramedics removed the ball and rushed Eaon to FHP Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Duff told the paramedics Eaon must have accidentally swallowed the ball while he was playing with it.

An autopsy revealed it was impossible for the child to have accidentally or voluntarily swallowed the 35 mm ball, and only considerable external force could have positioned it where paramedics found it.

Bail was set at $50,000.