Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Man gives 3-year-old son rifle for Christmas present. A few months later, toddler unintentionally shoots and kills himself with handgun.

25-year-old Joshua Heagren, of Mount Vernon, Ohio has been found guilty of child endangering and negligent homicide in the death of his 3-year-old son, Lucas. In May, Lucas found a loaded, unlocked handgun in the living room couch. He unintentionally discharged the gun, shooting himself in the head. Lucas died of his injuries a few hours later.
According to the prosecutor, two photos of Heagren showing his son how to shoot a gun were crucial to the case. One photo was of Heagren showing Lucas how to shoot a .22 rifle he had given the boy for Christmas. The other was a photo of Lucas holding an assault rifle. Both photos had been posted on Facebook.
A doctor specializing in developmental and behavioral pediatrics testifying in the case said toddlers cannot understand the dangers of guns and it was inappropriate to simply say "Don't touch."
Heagren has not yet been sentenced.

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