Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dad gets probation in 2-year-old son's shooting death (Youngstown, Ohio)

Dad (and part-time police officer) DOUGLAS FOOR will get 5 years on probation in the accidental shooting death of his 2-year-old son. Police say the boy shot himself by using both thumbs on the trigger. (Hey, I'm just reporting what they said, okay?)


Father gets probation in son’s death
Published: Tue, November 24, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.
By John W. Goodwin Jr.

The toddler shot himself accidentally with his dad’s handgun.

YOUNGSTOWN — A former part-time Minerva police officer will spend the next five years on probation in connection with the accidental shooting death of his 2-year-old son.

Douglas Foor, 25, of Murray Avenue, Minerva, appeared Monday before Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas court for sentencing. Foor pleaded guilty in August to one count of endangering children.

Foor’s son, Jacob, killed himself when he fired a handgun into his chest Nov. 13, 2008. The gun was Foor’s but was not his service weapon.

Smith Township police have said the toddler had the barrel of the gun pointing toward his chest and pulled the trigger with both thumbs.

Foor was originally indicted April 9 on one count of child endangering and one count of involuntary manslaughter. His wife, Amanda Saunier, 24, was also indicted on one count of child endangering, but that charge, along with the involuntary manslaughter charge against Foor, was dismissed when Foor entered into a plea agreement with the state.

Foor, prior to sentencing, thanked his family and friends for their support, and told the court that he would change the circumstances of the tragedy if he could. He said the situation took his son, his career and changed his life.

Atty. Jeff Makmides, representing Foor, said his client is an upstanding man who will have to live with a painful tragedy, but is still looking forward to the future.

“Doug is a fine young man. This has been very touching for Doug. He does have a 2-year-old daughter to live for, and Doug is looking forward. It’s a difficult thing he has to live with, but he is looking forward,” he said.

Judge Sweeney ultimately sentenced Foor to five years probation and ordered him to perform 1,000 hours of community service at an animal rescue facility so that he can remember his son and tragedy that took the boy’s life. “Those animals are as innocent as your child was,” the judge said.

The sentence did not come without serious consideration from the judge who reminded Foor of the severity of the situation with a young boy’s life taken.

She said probation would almost diminish the severity of the crime, but said prison is not appropriate under the circumstances of this case.

Foor, under the terms of his probation, will also have to attend family counseling.