Mass. Police Chief Pleads Not Guilty ...

Mass. Police Chief Pleads Not Guilty In Uzi Death

There are 13 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Dec 23, 2008, titled Mass. Police Chief Pleads Not Guilty In Uzi Death. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

A police chief in western Massachusetts pleaded not guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter in the death of an 8-year-old boy who accidentally shot himself with an Uzi at a gun show.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

Homer Van Meter

Brooklyn, CT

#1 Dec 23, 2008
This is risk of injury or negligence but not manslaughter
In response to Homer

Bridgewater, NJ

#2 Dec 23, 2008
Risk of injury is as implied, when a substantial "risk of injury" exists. Once the injury occurs, the risk has been realized. On the other hand, manslaughter in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is separated into two categories, reckless or negligent. Therefore, manslaughter is the appropriate charge to level against someone who’s negligence directly contributed to the death of another. The Chief is culpable and should have known better.
Bad choices

Ellington, CT

#3 Dec 23, 2008
Seems like everybody in CT and Mass haw nothing better to do than be first in line to make sure other people face legal trouble and imprisonment any time anything bad happens. It will be labeled below by other posters as "taking responsibility" but it remains that we just love making OTHER people take responsibility.

Bad crap happens, people. And sometimes bad decisions are behind it. It doesn't mean destroying as many lives as possible.
Mr Common Sense

United States

#4 Dec 23, 2008
My question is if you're charging all these people, why isn't the dad being charged. In the end it was his decision to allow his son to fire the weapon, so he gave his okay. It's either charge all involved, or charge none.
Sheepdog

Winsted, CT

#5 Dec 23, 2008
First of all, the 8 year old should never have had a gun like that to shoot. Fully automatic weapons require physical strength, and techniques which children do not have. Where was dad's common sense? And if dad does not have common sense, the range officers should have.

I agree with "common sense", why isn't dad indicted? The State's Attorney's excuse of the dad living with his decision just doesn't fly.

The indictments are a "pc" response. Unfortunately, being stupid is not against the law.
Canned Heat

United States

#6 Dec 23, 2008
What is going to happen here to El Cheifo is,,, what we refer to in the Hood as,, Getting Over Like A Fat Rat!...Any who is stupid enough to let a 8 year old boy near a load hand gun, or for that matter an unsupervised fully automatic assault weapon deserves to be locked up for life. This Class A Dope “The Chief” won’t do a day in the slammer,,,mark my words!
Alphonso from New Britain

Killingworth, CT

#7 Dec 23, 2008
Sheepdog wrote:
First of all, the 8 year old should never have had a gun like that to shoot. Fully automatic weapons require physical strength, and techniques which children do not have. Where was dad's common sense? And if dad does not have common sense, the range officers should have.
I agree with "common sense", why isn't dad indicted? The State's Attorney's excuse of the dad living with his decision just doesn't fly.
The indictments are a "pc" response. Unfortunately, being stupid is not against the law.
I think losing your son is punishment enough. I really don't think it would make much sense to put him behind bars. It would just take a prison bed from someone much more deserving, who is more likely to committ a crime again.
Woody Nesbit

New Hartford, CT

#8 Dec 23, 2008
Alphonso from New Britain wrote:
<quoted text>
I think losing your son is punishment enough. I really don't think it would make much sense to put him behind bars. It would just take a prison bed from someone much more deserving, who is more likely to committ a crime again.
Good point.
Accountability

Newington, CT

#9 Dec 23, 2008
Bad choices wrote:
Seems like everybody in CT and Mass haw nothing better to do than be first in line to make sure other people face legal trouble and imprisonment any time anything bad happens. It will be labeled below by other posters as "taking responsibility" but it remains that we just love making OTHER people take responsibility.
Bad crap happens, people. And sometimes bad decisions are behind it. It doesn't mean destroying as many lives as possible.
I disagree.

An eight year old doesn't know any better. It's the adults, that are supposed to be watching over him, who are to ensure that he will be safe.

This could've been prevented. It should never have happened in the first place.

What good could possibly come from an eight year old knowing how to fire an Uzi?!

When would this come in handy?

Condolences to the family; but some person(s) have to be responsible for this kid's action (at least until he's 18).
jeffrey

Malden, MA

#10 Dec 23, 2008
Accountability wrote:
<quoted text>
Condolences to the family; but some person(s) have to be responsible for this kid's action (at least until he's 18).
Pssst ! He's not going to be 18, he's not even going to be 9. Because of the stupidity of some "adults", and because of the greed of a police chief (you all come to the show, hear ?), he's dead ! He should be alive, but he's dead ! Some stupid "adults" have to be held accountable for his death !
CML

Ansonia, CT

#11 Dec 23, 2008
I must admit that I am impressed with the vigor with which the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is filing charges against individuals involved here.
That said, this greatly contrasts with the lack of enthusiasm shown by the same Commonwealth of Massachusetts when it came to prosecuting Thomas Levesque and Julie King.
These two were responsible for starting a fire in a cold storage warehouse in Worcester in 1999 resulting in the deaths of six Worcester firefighters (which between them had something like 16 children). They then compunded their crime by first not reporting the fire and then by standing across the street and watching firefighters rush into a building that the two of them KNEW was vacant. Yet neither one of them spent a day in jail for what they did.
Should not the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have held them responsible for the deaths that they caused?
Mr Common Sense

United States

#12 Dec 23, 2008
Alphonso from New Britain wrote:
<quoted text>
I think losing your son is punishment enough. I really don't think it would make much sense to put him behind bars. It would just take a prison bed from someone much more deserving, who is more likely to committ a crime again.
You are using emotions instead of the law, logic, and reason. If the others were charged with breaking the law, then the father must be charged as well.
Henry Bowman

Rillito, AZ

#13 Dec 24, 2008
Here's a better headline:

MASS GUN LAW SO OPAQUE EVEN POLICE DON'T UNDERSTAND IT

"On the day of the incident according to Hamilton, Detective Rick Lesniak of the North Adams Police Dept. came over to where she had been stopped by state police, pointed to her gun on the car seat and told two rookie, female state troopers,'That right there is against the law, having a gun in the car.'[It isn't.] He then seized the weapon... Lesniak confirmed to Massachusetts News yesterday that he said to the attorney he doesn't know anything about the gun laws. He told Mass News he doesn't keep up with the gun laws because they are constantly changing."
--ED OLIVER, MASSACHUSETTS NEWS, 2/1/2001

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