Three men, who were arrested following a fight that ended with the death of 17-year-old Ethan Liming, have been indicted on charges of assault and involuntary manslaughter.
According to News 5 Cleveland, a grand jury in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas indicted Tyler Stafford, 19, on involuntary manslaughter and assault; Deshawn Stafford Jr., 20, on two counts of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and assault; and Donovon Jones, 21, on two counts of assault.
Both Stafford brothers face F-3 involuntary manslaughter, which carries a potential prison sentence of 9 months to 3 years. Deshawn Stafford faces F-1 involuntary manslaughter, which means he could be jailed between 3 and 11 years. Jones’s assault charges are misdemeanors.
The grand jury considered charges that included murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and reckless homicide.
“Our office presented the facts of the case and the facts of the case added additional information than what is generally known by the public, and we believe those facts impacted the decision of the grand jury,” said Brad Gessner, chief counsel for the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.
The three men were playing basketball on June 2 before the fight. Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett said Liming and his friends, “got out of their vehicle, and at least two occupants of the vehicle started discharging a, what we know now to be a SPLATRBALL Water Bead Blaster.”
“A confrontation occurs. Ethan Liming is assaulted, and a fight ensues,” Mylett added. “At the conclusion of it, Ethan Liming is dead.”
The 17-year-old was a rising senior and football player at Firestone Community Learning Center in Akron, Ohio. Ethan’s father, Bill Liming, told News 5 Cleveland that “our family is both devastated and disgusted” in response to the indictments.
In a statement to News 5, Bill Liming said: “We have always taught all of our children to love everyone. We will continue that lesson knowing full well that not everyone in the world we live in feels the same. Our family will continue to let faith guide us through these unbearable times and we will pay better attention to our surroundings and where we go.”
“Love will win,” Liming said, concluding his statement. “Of that, I am certain—not politics, not division, but love. And so by love our family will find a way. That is who we are.”
Relatives of Liming set up a GoFundMe fundraiser for his memorial and his grieving family. The page has so far collected more than $30,000.
Lorenz Duchamps contributed to this report.