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UPDATED: Danville police chief found not guilty in negligent storage of firearms case, issues statement
Parsons’ loaded Glock-22 .40-caliber handgun was in his duty belt and left sitting on a duffel bag, covered with clothing inside a closet at his home on March 11, 2013. Prosecutors said Jacob Carver, the son of Parsons’ girlfriend, used the weapon to shoot himself while he was alone in the house.
Administrative Judge Edwin Kelly concluded on Wednesday that he had to dismiss the charge against the longtime chief after hearing arguments by the prosecution and defense.
Kelly also noted that neither the boy’s mother nor Parsons knew that the boy was contemplating suicide
Kelly was the third judge to preside over the case. Two other judges had stepped aside, citing conflicts.
Defense lawyer Alan Cronheim had argued that prosecutors had misapplied the law, saying the legislature did not intend for it to be used in situations where a firearm was discharged intentionally.
In March, Danville voters overwhelmingly re-elected Parsons as their town’s police chief. Parsons has held the job for 20 years, and maintained the support of selectmen in the wake of the charge being brought by the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office shortly after Carver’s death.
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