Three men arrested in connection with the death of an Ohio teen had an arraignment Monday morning at the Akron Municipal Court.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, U.S. Marshals Service on Saturday announced that authorities had arrested three men in connection with the killing: 21-year-old Donovon Jones, 20-year-old Deshawn Stafford Jr., and 19-year-old Tyler Stafford.
Yahoo News reports that all three suspects were given $1 million bail amounts via video arraignment from the Akron jail, in connection with the beating death of Ethan Liming, 17.
Jones is facing an additional charge of disrupting public service. His public defender argued that Jones had been at the same warehouse job for more than two years and has a baby due soon. Although the attorney asked for $500,000 bail, Akron Municipal Court Judge James Kimbler set the bond at $1 million.
Stafford’s lawyer said Monday that Stafford and some family members were playing basketball when a car pulled up and someone pointed at them what Stafford thought was an automatic weapon. Stafford reportedly said he ran, but when he realized there wasn’t an automatic weapon, he stopped and confronted Liming, who was holding a SplatRBall gun.
The guns shoot tiny water-based gel beads.
Stafford’s attorney argued that his client was at a community court playing basketball on a community court when a vehicle full of teens from “outside” of the neighborhood drove up and fired gel pellet guns.
Investigators believe that Liming was fatally beaten at about 10:46 p.m. on June 2. Police found his body on the parking lot pavement of the I Promise School in Akron., where he was pronounced dead.
Dan Horrigan, the mayor of Akron, said in a statement that Liming’s “senseless and tragic death has touched every person in our community,” according to WOIO-TV. “My thoughts and prayers remain with the entire Liming family at this time.” Liming’s parents described their son as a kind and loving person in an interview with WEWS-TV. “We miss our child. We would do anything we could possibly do to turn the clock back and have him in my arms again. And to see his face again, but they robbed me of even that ability. And they destroyed my child’s face and his head,” Bill Liming told the television station.
“And people think that he deserved—people keep saying, ‘Oh, you do these things and you deserve you get what you deserve.’ I don’t think anybody’s child would ever deserve what happened to him. Nobody’s child would deserve what they did to my child.”
Liming was an upcoming senior at Firestone Community Learning Center. He played both basketball and football for the school’s team.
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[Featured Image via Akron Public Schools]