Wednesday, April 24, 2013

No Prison Time for Joshua Heagren

The Columbus Dispatch and our previous post

A Knox County man will spend no time in prison for the death of his 3-year-old son, who shot himself with a .45-caliber handgun that his father had tucked beneath a couch in the family’s home.

Joshua Heagren, 25, was sentenced yesterday by Licking County Common Pleas Court Judge David Branstool after being convicted on Feb. 5 of child-endangering and negligent homicide in the death of his son, Lucas.

Heagren, who faced a maximum of six months in jail on the misdemeanor homicide count and three years for child-endangering, received a suspended 24-month prison sentence and was placed on probation for two years.

Branstool also ordered Heagren to pay a $500 fine, perform 50 hours of community service, submit to alcohol- and drug-use monitoring and maintain full-time employment. The judge also forbade him from possessing guns.
I suppose that's about the perfect solution. I usually feel that prison time is unnecessary when someone's negligence causes the loss of a child. That's got to be the worst punishment in the world.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. Gee, before, in the previous post, you questioned whether he felt much sting for the loss of his child, but now--since he predictably wound up losing his gun rights--you drop the insults and sound empathetic.

    You accuse us of being cold hearted, but you refuse to empathize with gunowners who lose a child unless they lose their rights. Until then, you make wild implications about what cold, unfeeling bastards They are.

    1. That's not true at all. I do have empathy for them. And I do believe they should lose their gun rights. One is not dependent on the other.

    2. Again, you say that you do, but until he lost his rights, you implied that this guy was probably untouched by grief over what happened. No expressions of sympathy come until after rights are lost; until then, these people are just examples for your argument and targets for your disdain.

    3. Bullshit, you're a poor mind reader.

    4. I'm not reading your mind. I'm reading your posts. One where you imply that he's a heartless bastard, and one where you later empathize with him.

    5. Believe me, I always empathize with the heartless bastards. That's why I'm opposed to the death penalty in all cases.

    6. Methinks thou dost protest too much...

    7. And I think you keep playing gotcha with me. And once you make a claim of having caught me in a contradiction or something, you will never back down, you will never accept an explanation and you will always insist on getting the last word.

      Stop the gotcha bullshit, it's distracting us from the discussions.

  2. Make Heagren the NRA Father of the Year.

  3. He was negligent, leaving a loaded gun near a child. It killed a child. If it were not his own child, but someone else's, most people would say he was criminally negligent, and want him in jail for killing someone's child.

    A child however is not a parent's own exclusive property, to care and treat however they wish. In addition, of perhaps because, many people, family and community also see and feel tragedy and loss - even if it is not their own child.

    He was indeed punished already by losing his own child. However, so were others. I think is it appropriate that he lose his gun rights as he has not shown he can manage them responsibly. He should have fines and serve community service at the same proportion, or more, than his prison time would be.