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Dad pleads not guilty by reason of insanity related to incident that critically injured his son

In January, Michael Ninomiya and his son where found in a fenced-off drainage culvert along the High Line Canal after a 911 call by Ninomiya.

DENVER — A man who's charged with attempted murder related to an incident in January along the Cherry Creek Trail involving his young son pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Michael Ninomiya was in court for an arraignment hearing Friday where he entered the plea. He'll now be referred to either the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan (CMHIFL) or Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP) for an evaluation.

>The video above aired in January when Ninomiya was arrested.

Around 4:15 p.m. on Jan. 12 of this year, Ninomiya called 911 to report an incident along the Cherry Creek Trail, Denver Police (DPD) said. The details of that call were redacted in an arrest affidavit.

Firefighters found Ninomiya and his son, who was five at the time, in a fenced-off drainage culvert along the High Line Canal near Boston Street and Cornell Avenue, according to the affidavit. At the time, the boy was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Ninomiya was taken to the hospital to be treated for a cut to his forehead.

RELATED: Father charged with attempted murder after child critically injured along Cherry Creek trail

The Denver District Attorney's Office charged Ninomiya with the following:

  • First-degree attempted murder
  • Attempted murder - victim under the age of 12 and being in a position of trust
  • Attempted child abuse resulting in death
  • Child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury
  • Two sentencing enhancement charges for a violent crime with serious bodily injury or death

In investigating the incident, officers interviewed both Ninomiya and the boy's mother, according to the affidavit. The mother told police she had been with Ninomiya for nine years and married to him for eight. She said she had no concerns when Ninomiya and the boy left for a hike. She told police she would never have let Ninomiya leave with the child if she had thought he would hurt him, according to the affidavit.

RELATED: Father arrested after child critically injured along Cherry Creek trail

Ninomiya is next due on court on Sept. 1 for a review hearing.

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