The father of Ohio teen Ethan Liming has lashed out after a grand jury decided to charge his son’s alleged killers with something less than murder.
Liming, who is white, was beaten to death near the basketball courts of NBA star and political activist LeBron James’ I PROMISE School in Akron on June 2. Three black men — Donovon Jones, 21; Tyler Stafford, 19; and Deshawn Stafford Jr., 20 — were arrested and charged in Liming’s death.
But instead of facing murder charges, they were instead indicted on lesser charges of assault and involuntary manslaughter, The Daily Wire reported.
The outlet adds:
A Summit County grand jury indicted Jones on two counts of assault, Tyler Stafford on involuntary manslaughter and assault, and Deshawn Stafford on two counts of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and assault, according to News 5 Cleveland.
Tyler Stafford is potentially facing nine months to three years in prison, while Deshawn Stafford could face up to 11 years in prison for the F-1 involuntary manslaughter charge, the report said, adding that Jones’ charges are misdemeanors.
Chief counsel for the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, Brad Gessner, reportedly said the grand jury weighed 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,” Gessner said in a statement.
But that did not mollify Liming’s family, especially his father.
“Our family is both devastated and disgusted,” Bill Liming, Ethan’s father, told News 5 Cleveland.
“On behalf of our family, we are grieving,” a statement from Liming added. “We are a beautifully multi-cultural family with white, African American, and Filipino family members who share the vision of strength by coming together rather than pulling apart everything we hold dear at the seams. Rather than become bitter, we are choosing to fall back on our faith.
“We have always taught all of our children to love everyone,” he noted further. “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 unbelievable times and we will pay better attention to our surroundings and where we go.
“This summer has been a horrific summer of violence and tragedy here in Akron,” the father said. “Our family is not the only ones who have had to suffer. We know that every situation is different but we also recognize a common grief that our family shares with so many other families whose loved ones have been taken from them, both young and old. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all of the families who are struggling in their grief just as we are struggling beside them with ours.”
“Love will win,” Liming concluded the 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.”
Last month, Bill Liming told News 5 Cleveland that two of his son’s friends, who are black, attempted to rescue the 17-year-old while he was still breathing, but one was also assaulted by the alleged perpetrators who then “finished my son off.”
“It’s been said that they abandoned Ethan and it’s not true,” he recalled. “They did everything they possibly could to help Ethan. They called 911 to get help. And when Ethan was knocked out on the ground, his two African American friends tried to pick up his body and put them in the car, to help save his life. He was still alive at that point. He was still breathing.”
The Daily Wire added: “Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett almost immediately dismissed questions about hate crime charges, saying investigators found no evidence of such a crime.”