Indiana Man Pleads Guilty to Fatally Shooting 3-Year-Old in the Head During ‘Gun Game’
An Indiana man has pleaded guilty after fatally shooting his fiancee’s 3-year-old son while playing a “gun game.”
According to court documents, 24-year-old Zachariah Grisham has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of child neglect.
Police say Grisham and the boy, Lance Wilson, were “playing a game.” Lance reportedly pointed a toy gun at Grisham and Grisham pulled his real gun and pointed it at Lance.
Police say Grisham forgot the gun was still loaded when he fired a single shot, killing the young boy.
According to authorities, the two would often point fingers or guns at each other and go “bang, bang.”
Prior to the guilty plea, prosecutors were pursuing charges of child neglect causing death and reckless homicide. He has pleaded guilty to child neglect and faces eight to 20 years behind bars. Under the deal, however, if he is sentenced to more than 12 years, the rest of the term would be served under house arrest. The previous charges would have carried a sentence of 20 to 50 years in prison.
LaPorte County Deputy Prosecutor Dave Ambers said “it did not meet the qualifications of murder. It’s a very unfortunate incident.”
The sentencing hearing has not been scheduled but Grisham’s attorneys will have the opportunity to argue for a lesser sentence in front of the judge before the official hearing.
Grisham has had his brush ups with the law but for low level misdemeanors like noise violations, theft, and false informing. Certainly this is a tragic and unfortunate accident but a stark reminder to keep your guns away from kids – and definitely not point firearms AT them!