The father of Noah Thomas is asking a judge to exclude evidence of the boy’s death as his trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday.

Lindsay Honeycutt, lawyer for Paul Raymond Thomas, wrote in a pretrial motion that his client is accused of neglect and abuse for reportedly leaving Noah and his infant sister home alone on March 22 of last year. That was the same day Noah went missing, but Honeycutt argues the boy didn’t disappear until later in the day.

Honeycutt argues evidence of Noah’s death is irrelevant to charges against Paul Thomas.

Noah’s death and the discovery of his body in a septic tank near the family’s Dublin home was a key part of last month’s trial for Ashley White, the boy’s mother. That is because White testified she was home taking a nap when her son went missing.

Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor said during White’s trial that she had neglected Noah twice on the day he went missing: first when she left her two children home alone to take Paul Thomas to work and later when she took a nap after returning home. It was the later neglect that led to Noah’s death, Fleenor said.

Honeycutt argues in his motion that Paul Thomas’ charges are related to the earlier alleged act of neglect, which did not result in injury to the children.

Paul Thomas, 32, is charged with two felony counts of child abuse and neglect related to the care of Noah and his infant sister. His bench trial is set to begin Wednesday, the same day the judge will hear Honeycutt’s pretrial motion.

White was found guilty of her charges in February after a week of court proceedings. She has a sentencing hearing scheduled for May 16.

Fleenor showed surveillance video during White’s trial that he said depicts White and Paul Thomas stopping at a gas station after they left their children home on March 22.

Fleenor also presented evidence that Noah’s home was messy and dangerous that morning, with cigarettes, cleaning supplies and marijuana within reach of the 5-year-old boy.

Honeycutt is also asking the judge to exclude the marijuana evidence, again arguing it’s irrelevant to the charges of child neglect and abuse.

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Jacob Demmitt covers business and technology out of the New River Valley bureau.

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