EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 12, 2013

Police chief faces charge in teen's death

BRENTWOOD — Danville police Chief Wade Parsons has been charged with negligent storage of firearms relating to the death by gunshot last month of Jacob Carver, 15, in Parsons' home.

Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams announced this morning that the longtime police chief will be prosecuted for failing to secure his loaded service weapon before he left his home to run errands March 11. Parsons did so knowing there was a juvenile in the house, Reams said.

The charge is a violation of RSA 650-C: I, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.

"It is my hope that out of this tragedy will come increased awareness by gun owners that they are responsible for the way they store their weapons," Reams said.

State police investigated the Timberlane freshman's death, but were tight lipped throughout.

As the investigation neared its conclusion, New Hampshire State Police Lt. Christopher Vetter said it would be up to Reams's office to determine whether charges would be filed.

The teen was the son of Parsons' girlfriend, and a popular freshman who wrestled and played football.

Vetter said earlier Parsons was not being investigated and that the tragedy had been classified by state police as an “untimely death.”

State police have never identified the teenager and would say not how he died, although the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it was a shooting.

Parsons was out of work for several weeks after the shooting, but returned in late March.

Selectmen’s Chairman Shawn O’Neil said earlier state police told selectmen the town had nothing to be concerned about.

An anonymous letter from the Timberlane community last month was sent to Parsons and media organizations, calling for the release of details in the case. It was signed “Timberlane Regional High School Parents and Friends of Jacob Carver.”

Vetter repeatedly has said the boy’s death was not accidental, but also was not a homicide. Asked if it were a suicide, Vetter said, “I wouldn’t say that.”

The letter also asked Parsons to provide gun safety classes at local schools.

Parsons has been Danville’s chief since 1995.

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