A Michigan man who operated an unlicensed day care was sentenced to probation Friday, more than a year after his 3-year-old son got access to his gun and wounded two children.
In addition to two years’ probation, Timothy Eubanks was ordered to start a national gun safety campaign following the September 2017 shooting of two 3-year-olds in his care. The ruling came after Eubanks pleaded guilty to child abuse, according to WDIV.
Prosecutors alleged he and his wife, Samantha Eubanks, knowingly left two loaded handguns unattended in an upstairs bedroom. The Detroit Free Press reported that Samantha was watching six children—three 3-year-olds, two 1-year-olds, and a 4-month-old—when her toddler son got ahold of one of the firearms and shot two of the children.
One toddler was shot in the face while another was wounded in the shoulder, according to reports. Despite this, the victim’s families were complimentary regarding the couple and their child care, something the judge considered when sentencing Timothy last week.
“My son was shot in the face. The bullet went through the front of his head and came in the back of his ear. Due to the accident, my son lost his right eye and his jaw was completely fractured. He was in a coma for a couple of weeks,” one of the victim’s mothers testified, according to WDIV.
Another mother said, “It was a through and through. His clavicle was fractured.”
Samantha was initially charged with 12 counts of second-degree child abuse and two counts of firearms violations. The news outlet reported that the firearms charges, both felonies, were dropped but ultimately restored. Her trial date is pending.
“And isn’t it ironic that while you were trying to protect your family, you end up with your family hurt, another family hurt, and a community hurt,” sentencing judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway opined.
“It’s just ironic, that people think that having guns, even in their home, is a way to protect themselves and their families. The answer to that question is still out there.”
[Featured Image: Timothy Eubanks/WDIV]