EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 18, 2013

Danville police chief pleads not guilty in gun case

PLAISTOW — Danville police Chief Wade Parsons contends he’s not responsible for the death of a 15-year-old boy who shot and killed himself with the chief’s service revolver.

Parsons, 54, has pleaded not guilty in the death March 11 of his girlfriend’s son, Jacob Carver. The chief is charged with failing to secure his loaded handgun before leaving his home on Caramel Drive in Danville to run errands.

Jacob, a Timberlane Regional High School freshman, was found dead in the home later that night.

Parsons waived his arraignment yesterday in 10th Circuit Court. His attorney, Alan Cronheim, filed the waiver request and plea late last week.

Parsons was not at the police station yesterday. Neither he nor Cronheim could be reached for comment.

A pretrial conference in the case has been scheduled for Aug. 8. A trial has not been scheduled.

If convicted of the negligent storage of firearms charge, a violation, Parsons faces a potential $1,000 fine, but no jail time.

Parsons has said he could not talk about the case while it was under investigation.

State police were tight-lipped about the investigation for weeks. Although investigators said the death was not accidental, they would not confirm it was a suicide.

Parsons wasn’t charged until a month after the teen’s death.

Rockingham County Attorney James Reams said his office decided to charge Parsons because of the severity of the shooting and to send a message to gun owners they need to take precautions.

“I hope it’s a reminder that if you have a dangerous weapon, you must secure it,” Reams said.

He said the Glock 22 .40-caliber handgun was left on top of a closet safe, where Parsons regularly stores the weapon. There were no other weapons in the house, Reams said.

Jacob, who wrestled and played football, is the son of Parsons’ girlfriend, Debbie Carver. The boy’s father, Geoffrey Carver, has declined to comment other than to say Parsons is “very irresponsible.”

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