A Knox County man has been found guilty in the Memorial Day death of his 3-year-old son.
Lucas Heagren found his father’s loaded .45-caliber handgun under a couch in the family home near Mount Vernon and accidentally shot himself in the head. He died hours later.
Two photos of Joshua E. Heagren, 25, showing his son how to shoot a gun proved crucial to the case, Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher said yesterday.
“Lucas turned 3 at the end of January (2012),” Thatcher said. “His father gave him a .22 rifle for Christmas (2011) at age 2 years, 11 months. There was a Facebook picture of Joshua crouching in the snow showing his son how to the shoot the gun. There was another photo of Lucas holding an AR-15 assault rifle last spring.”
In Heagren’s trial before a judge lasty Tuesday, Dr. Daniel Coury, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, testified that toddlers cannot understand how dangerous guns can be, and it is not appropriate to try to teach gun safety to a toddler beyond the simple admonition, “Don’t touch.”
Licking County Common Pleas Judge David Branstool convicted Heagren of child endangering, a third-degree felony, and negligent homicide, a first-degree misdemeanor. He announced his verdict yesterday.
Thatcher said Heagren testified that he normally kept the .45-caliber handgun under his mattress. He had taken it out and slipped it under the couch because he was going to go shooting later, but he then got distracted, he testified.
What a sad, pathetic and TYPICAL gun lover. Normally, you figure a guy like this has suffered so much already that going to jail would be superfluous. But you have to wonder about a guy who is so stupid as to testify that he usually kept the gun under the mattress. There's no tellin' what a guy like that thinks.
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