If you blinked, you missed Sloane Steven Briles' time in a special court for military veterans dealing with mental-health issues.
Orange County's Veterans Court has decided not to hear the case against the Irvine father accused of tossing his crying 7-year-old son off a Newport Harbor cruise boat in August.
So, the criminal complaint against the 35-year-old returns to Orange County Superior Court.
He is to be arraigned in early January on charges of child endangerment and resisting arrest that could fetch six years in state prison.
The Veterans Court, which was created in 2008, declined to take the case after a review by officials who included U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs representatives. No reason was given for the rejection. Briles' Facebook page states he served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marines between 1995 and 2000.
On Aug. 28, Briles was aboard The Queen with his girlfriend and two young sons he had with his ex-wife when he allegedly began poking the older boy in the chest and repeatedly slapping his face. When the lad cried and asked his allegedly intoxicated father to stop, Briles is accused of tossing the child 10 feet overboard into the drink.
The ship's first mate reportedly had to stall the engines to avoid hitting the youngster treading water in front of the vessel. Several surrounding boaters jumped in after the boy, as did Briles before, his accusers claim, he swam away.
The case became a local sensation, with Briles trying to explain away via the media that he was not drunk, that he and his son were only playing a game where the boy pretends to cry and that his child was never in danger having only been tossed into the harbor's "shallows."
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The Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol, the Orange County District Attorney's office and several witnesses have begged to differ.
- OC's Scariest People 2011
- Sloane Steven Briles, Accused of Tossing Young Son Off Boat, Has Case Moved to Veterans Court