Ex-Centerville police officer pleads guilty in Hamilton fatal child shooting case

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

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Ex-Centerville police officer Benjamin Bishop has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a 3-year-old in his Hamilton home.

Bishop, 26, was indicted on the charges in June for reckless homicide and child endangering in addition to involuntary manslaughter for the March 30 accidental shooting that happened when the toddler picked up an unsecured, loaded gun and discharged it. The boy was hit in the head and died.

On Tuesday, Bishop was in Butler County Common Pleas Court where he entered the guilty plea to the first-degree felony. The other two charges were merged.

Bishop faces 3 to 11 years in prison, but incarceration is not mandatory on the charge. Judge Noah Powers II set sentencing for Nov. 6. He remains free on $100,000 bond.

Bishop was the boyfriend of the toddler’s mom, Hailey Rodriguez and the father of their infant child.

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 last spring. 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.

Yvonte I. Glover, 26, was indicted by a Butler County grand jury in August 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 is free on bond and he is scheduled to be back in Butler County Common Pleas Court Nov. 17 for a pretrial hearing.

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.

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