Coach to be arraigned in player heat death

A Kentucky high school football coach charged in the heat-related death of a player during practice was scheduled for arraignment Monday after a weekend of rallies by his supporters.

The count of reckless homicide is believed to be among the first criminal cases against a coach for the death of an athlete.

David Jason Stinson was scheduled for arraignment in Louisville, five days after a grand jury indicted the head football coach from Pleasure Ridge Park in the death of 15-year-old Max Gilpin.

The sophomore offensive lineman died three days after collapsing during a sweltering practice Aug. 20.

Stinson's attorney has said the coach is innocent. Stinson, who has been reassigned to non-teaching and non-coaching duties pending the outcome of the case, has said he is heartbroken.

Two public rallies were held over the weekend in support of Stinson, one Saturday at the coach's home and the other Sunday at the football field of the south Louisville school.

During the vigil at Stinson's home, the embattled coach stepped out and spoke to supporters.

A day later, hundreds of students, coaches, players, faculty members and well-wishers huddled in shivering temperatures on the football field at Pleasure Ridge Park High in support of Stinson.

The heavily bundled crowd spent over an hour hailing Stinson as a man of integrity. Several people brought homemade signs while two students wore sweat shirts that read "We believe in our Mr. Incredible" on the front and "Pray for Coach Stinson" on the back.

A banner near the end zone read: "The PRP family supports our coaches." Some supporters in attendance wept quietly during the 90-minute gathering.

Monica Stinson, the coach's wife, told the group she and her husband have been overwhelmed by the outpouring from the community.

"The upcoming months are going to be the hardest," Monica Stinson said while fighting back tears. She later shared an embrace with Lois Gilpin, Max's stepmother.

Jeff Gilpin and Michele Crockett, Max's divorced parents, told The Courier-Journal in a story published Sunday that they want to find out what happened during that sweltering afternoon when their son died so that future tragedies can be avoided.

The parents have jointly filed a lawsuit against the PRP coaching staff, accusing them of negligence and "reckless disregard."