Prosecutors urge charge be upheld against Danville’s police chief
Assistant Rockingham County Attorney Terri Harrington last week filed an objection to a recent motion by Parsons’ attorney that seeks to have the charge dismissed.
Parsons’ lawyer, Alan Cronheim of Sisti Law Offices, argues the law refers only to a minor under age 16 accessing a firearm and using it in a reckless or negligent manner and doesn’t apply to suicides. He said Parsons can’t be held liable because in this case the gun was “purposefully” used to commit suicide and that it was neither reckless nor negligent.
“It only matters that an improperly secured firearm was fired by someone under the proscribed age,” she wrote.
“To assert that this statute is only meant to apply to accidents by relying on the language ‘said firearm was negligently or recklessly discharged’ is to turn common sense on its head. This is a child safety law. New Hampshire seeks to protect children from access to firearms. New Hampshire seeks to protect children from gun accidents, suicides and mass shootings. To state otherwise is to ignore a horrifying and growing reality in this country that children are gaining access to loaded guns. They are not just falling prey to accidents alone, but are able to wreak havoc on themselves and the general public,” Harrington wrote.
“Defendant was aware that J.C. would be home, even if he, defendant, was not. J.C. had a bedroom in the home and was expected home later in the day. Knowing this, he left a loaded and fully operable .40-caliber handgun where it could be found and used. He placed it ‘under clothing’ in his closet, hardly a best practice while a 15-year-old boy is staying in the home. It is not ‘hypothetical or speculative’ that a 15-year-old boy would be curious about a service revolver,” she wrote.
A hearing on the motion to dismiss is scheduled for Feb. 24 at 8:15 a.m. in the Salem Circuit Court.