A Nelsonville teen and his father were charged in connection to the March death of Eli Spangler, 11.
Mason Platt, 14, was adjudicated as delinquent by Athens County Juvenile Court Judge Zach Saunders. He reportedly admitted Tuesday in Athens County Juvenile Court to the charge of reckless homicide, according to an Athens County Prosecutor’s Office press release.
Platt was reportedly playing with a firearm that went off and killed Spangler on March 6 at Platt’s home, the prosecutor’s office said.
In addition, Platt’s father, Donald Platt, 37, of Nelsonville was indicted Tuesday morning by an Athens County Grand Jury on charges of involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony; endangering children, a third-degree felony; and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, according to court documents.
He is the owner of the gun his son used, the prosecutor’s office stated. The involuntary manslaughter charge includes a three-year firearm specification, meaning he can't purchase a gun during that period, and alleges Donald caused Spangler’s death as a result of committing the crime of endangering children, according to his indictment.
The endangering children charge carries a one-year firearm specification and alleges Donald Platt created a substantial risk to the health and safety of Spangler by violating a duty of care, protection of support and that the violation resulted in serious harm to Spangler, the prosecutor’s office release said.
He allegedly locked the gun safe after the shooting, tampering with evidence of the investigation, the prosecutor’s office reported.
Spangler, of Nelsonville, was killed on March 6 at a home in the city. Nelsonville Police Department officers were dispatched early that morning in response to reports of a juvenile being shot. Police at the time arrived at a residence on Walnut Street in Nelsonville and began performing CPR on Spangler until Athens County EMS and Nelsonville Fire Department arrived and took over treatment. The boy was transported to OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Disposition for Mason will be held on June 16 at 3 p.m.
Donald was issued a $25,000 signature bond and ordered not to have contact with Spangler’s family. A pre-trial is scheduled in his case for June 24, and a jury trial is set for July 27.