Ex-Centerville officer’s hearing in child shooting case continued to September

Prosecutors say toddler found the gun unsecured on a window sill in their home.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A pretrial hearing in the case of former Centerville police officer Benjamin Bishop, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide in the death of a 3-year-old in his home, has been continued to Sept. 12.

Bishop, 26, was indicted on the charges in June. In the March 30 accidental shooting, a 3-year-old picked up a gun in his Hamilton home and discharged it. The child was hit in the head and died.

Bishop was the boyfriend of the toddler’s mom, Hailey Rodriguez and the father of their infant child. He is free on $100,000 bond. Bishop was scheduled to be back in court Tuesday, but the pretrial hearing was continued.

Emergency crews responded at about 7 p.m. that evening to the 900 block of Park Avenue and found the child with a gunshot wound on the left side of his head. Jared N. Green died a day later from head injuries.

Prosecutors say the toddler found the gun unsecured on a window sill.

This is the second case of a child being shot with an unsecured weapon in Butler County. A Middletown man is facing a felony charge after his 4-year-old sibling shot himself with an unsecured gun found in the seat of an SUV in April. He was arraigned Tuesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Yvonte I. Glover, 26, was indicted by a Butler County grand jury last week for child endangering, a third-degree felony. Middletown police and prosecutors say it was his loaded handgun shoved between the seats that the boy found and used to shoot himself in the abdomen on April 12 in Jacot Park.

The child has recovered from the through-and-through shot, according to officials.

Glover appeared before Magistrate Matt Reed who released him on an own-recognizance bond. He is scheduled to be back in court Sept. 26 for a pretrial hearing before Judge Noah Powers II.

In that incident, Glover was in the park with four young children, including the boy who was injured, and his girlfriend, according to Middletown police.

The boy went back to the vehicle for a drink of water when he picked up the gun and fired it, the police report says. The weapon used is listed as a Smith and Wesson 9-millimeter handgun, according to the police report. It was left in the SUV between the seat and the console.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said he has a message for parents and all gun owners:

“The gun didn’t have a brain. The only one with a brain was the owner and they are held accountable,” Gmoser said. “This (Middletown incident) could have just as easily have been a horrific event like the one involving the Hamilton child.”

He said people need to be painfully aware that “between a gun and a human being, only one has a brain. A human is the one capable of utilizing a gun in safe manner and not in a callus or reckless disregard for safety.”

Gmoser said if people do not apply their brains regarding safety issues with guns, “they (guns) will kill you, or if left out, they will kill a child who doesn’t have a mature enough brain to realize the dangers involved.”

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