Ethan Liming collage

Three Suspects Accused of Beating Teen Boy to Death Over SplatRBall Prank Get Murder Charges Dropped

Three Ohio men charged with beating a 17-year-old boy to death in the parking lot of an Akron school were indicted this week on lesser charges.

According to News 19, Deshawn Stafford Jr., 20, Tyler Stafford, 19, and Donovon Jones, 21, were initially charged with murder in connection with the June 2 death of Ethan Liming. On Thursday, the Summit County Grand Jury returned an indictment on lesser charges, which include:

  • Stafford Jr.: Involuntary manslaughter (2 counts), aggravated assault, and assault
  • Stafford: Involuntary manslaughter and assault
  • Jones: Assault (2 counts)

As CrimeOnline previously reported, investigators believe that Liming was fatally beaten at about 10:46 p.m. on June 2 in the I Promise School parking lot in Akron. Police found his body on the pavement of a parking lot near the school, where he was pronounced dead.Leading up to the incident, Liming was allegedly driving around the city with his friends shooting a SplatRBall gun at passersby. The guns shoot tiny water-based gel beads.

Liming and his friends drove to a basketball court where the suspects were and fired the water gun at them, which police say provoked the suspects who beat Liming.

Ethan ultimately passed away from his injuries.

According to a report by the Summit County Medical Examiner, had a black eye, a broken occipital bone, and a head laceration. The preliminary autopsy report also stated that a smashed cellphone was found by Ethan’s body.

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.”

Check back for updates.

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[Featured Image via Akron Public Schools]