A father is speaking out after three alleged killers of his seventeen-year-old son, Ethan Liming, were indicted on assault and manslaughter charges — but escaped the murder charges they were initially facing.
Bill Liming, Ethan’s father, said he was “devastated and disgusted” at the decision, according to News 5 Cleveland. Rather than turning to violence or anger, however, he and his family are instead turning to faith.
“Rather than become bitter, we are choosing to fall back on our faith,” Liming wrote in a statement. “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 unbelievable times,” the statement continued. “And we will pay better attention to our surroundings and where we go.”
The jury’s decision to not indict the trio for murder has generated controversy. Especially given the manner in which the teen died — with many speculating the killing was actually a hate crime, The Daily Wire reported.
“Ethan, who is white, was beaten to death near basketball courts of NBA star and political activist LeBron James’ I PROMISE School in Akron on June 2,” The Daily Wire story read. “Donovon Jones, 21; Tyler Stafford, 19; and Deshawn Stafford Jr., 20, were arrested in connection to the boy’s death.”
The official charges the men now reportedly face are as follows: “Deshawn Stafford, age 20: Two counts of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and assault, Tyler Stafford, age 19: Involuntary manslaughter and assault, Donovon Jones, age 21: Two counts of assault.”
F-1 involuntary manslaughter — which Deshawn Stafford was charged with– carries a potential prison sentence of three to 11 years.
F-3 involuntary manslaughter — which both Stafford bothers face — carries a potential prison sentence of nine months to three years.
The assault charges against Jones are considered misdemeanors.
This list of charges is a severe downgrade from what the trio was previously up against. Yet in spite of this ruling, one cannot help but see things from Bill Liming’s point of view.
“Love will win. Of that, I am certain- not politics,” the father proclaimed. “Not division, but love. And so by love our family will find a way.”
Love may win out in the end, but seeing that justice is served in this lifetime is still a worthy pursuit.