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January 28, 2014

Lawyer asks to drop charge against Danville chief

Timberlane student used Parsons' gun

SALEM — The attorney for Danville police Chief Wade Parsons has asked a judge to drop a firearms charge against his client, claiming the chief is not responsible for a teenage boy’s suicide.

Attorney Alan Cronheim requests that 10th Circuit Judge Michael Sullivan dismiss the negligent storage of a firearm offense, a violation punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, but no jail time.

Parsons has pleaded not guilty after his girlfriend’s 15-year-old son, Jacob Carver, shot and killed himself with the chief’s service weapon March 11. The boy, a Timberlane Regional High School student, was found dead in the chief’s home on Caramel Drive in Danville.

But Cronheim, in a motion filed with the court Jan. 15, contends Parsons is not responsible for the teen’s death and should be exonerated.

Sullivan held a pretrial conference with the attorneys in October, asking Cronheim and Assistant County Attorney Terri Harrington to submit additional information to the court before a hearing is held in late February. Parsons was not present.

Harrington said at the time that Sullivan asked for additional information on how a state firearms law, 650-C:1 (III), has been applied in past cases. The two attorneys filed a joint response, outlining the facts of the case, on Wednesday.

The law states “any person who stores or leaves on premises under that person’s control a loaded firearm, and who knows or reasonably should know that a child is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the child’s parent or guardian, is guilty of a violation if a child gains access to a firearm ... .”

The Glock 22 .40-caliber handgun was left in the chief’s gunbelt, which was stored in a closet and covered with clothing, according to the attorneys. Parsons has told investigators he left the weapon in the closet before leaving to run errands.

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