Alvin Beiler

Alvin Beiler

A Salisbury Township man charged in the death of his 4-year-old son last year will spend up to 23 months on property arrest.

Alvin F. Beiler, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of children regarding the boy’s death May 30, 2018, at the family farm in the 500 block of Cambridge Road. He has been out of jail on unsecured bail.

Officials said the boy was playing near a feed mixer but “disappeared,” so Beiler thought he went inside. Beiler turned the machine on and realized the boy was inside about 20 minutes later, according to police.

As part of the guilty plea, the Lancaster County district attorney's office decided not to prosecute the involuntary manslaughter charge.

Beiler pleaded no contest to the endangering the welfare of children charge.

He will be on property arrest for six to 23 months, Assistant District Attorney Karen Mansfield said in court. The arrangement is an alternative to electronic monitoring house arrest due to his vocation as a farmer.

“During the day he can come and go as he pleases?” asked President Judge Dennis E. Reinaker, who presided over the plea.

Defense attorney Christopher Sarno said Beiler will stay on the property unless he coordinates with his probation officer for off-site errands, church and church-related activities including weddings. He will also be allowed to go to a wedding in Virginia in early November, according to the plea.

“It’s a sad situation,” Sarno said. “Mr. Beiler is deeply upset.”

Reinaker accepted the plea and asked Beiler if he had anything to say.

“Pray for our family,” Beiler responded.

Beiler will also take parenting classes and devote eight hours of community service telling Amish families about the dangers of farming, according to the plea.