Canton, OH – A juvenile court family judge, Judge David Nist, has dismissed reckless homicide charges against a 12-yr-old (name has not been released) accused of murdering his 6-yr-old neighbor, King Pleasant.
The homicide happened back in September of 2020. King’s family had just moved into their new home about three weeks prior to the murder. King was shot to death by an 11-year-old boy (at the time) with a gun in another neighbor’s driveway in the 500 block of 19th Street NW, according to police.
King Pleasant was only 6-years-old and was excited about starting 1st grade.
Judge David Nist ordered the accused’s name not to be released to the public and a pretrial hearing was set for Oct. 1. Nist also ordered the defendant’s release, placing him under “parental house arrest” with intensive monitoring. The boy’s father agreed to supervise him at all times (even though he was under his father’s supervision at the time of the murder). King’s family is now forced to see their son and brother’s killer almost on a daily basis.
Diamond Elder, King’s mother said she didn’t find out the 11-year-old suspect had been released until she saw him arrive home next-door (They did not inform the family of when the accused youth was being arraigned because they claimed to have a wrong number on file). Elder said it added to the trauma she is enduring.
The family protested for weeks at Tuscarawas Street and Market Avenue.
Fast forward to Monday, February 8, 2021, in a 12-page ruling was issued by Judge David Nist stating it’s clear the boy — who was 11 years old when King Pleasant was fatally shot in September — cannot be restored to competency for trial within the six months required under state law. He was found mentally unfit to stand trial.
Restoring competency means the boy would be able to understand the legal process and charge against him and could assist with his own defense.
The Judge made mention of two separate psychological reports of two mental health professionals who evaluated the accused youth, and they both found the boy is not able to comprehend the charges, able to assist with his own defense or even able to understand his neighbor is dead at his hands.
“The defendant does not grasp the seriousness of the pending charge or even the gravity of his friend’s death.” ~ psychologist on the case.
Judge David Nist also indicated the family can refile charges against the accused later on. James Pollack of the Summit County Prosecutors office says “we currently don’t have a timeline” when asked when would be an appropriate time to refile charges. Laura Mills, an attorney representing King Pleasant’s family during the legal process, said she will be asking that the case be refiled in a year.
The Judge seems to be more upset with the adult who allowed this child to get access to a loaded gun, especially since his parents are not allowed to have a gun in their possession due to being under disability.
“The person or persons who allowed a very young child or children to access a loaded, unsecured deadly weapon is what put all of this in motion. Without that individual none of this could have occurred. It is truly a crime that individual escaped completely unscathed thus far,” Nist said.
The Canton Police say they did a backtrack on the gun from the day it was purchased and they went through one or two owners, and … it had been stolen allegedly (one to two years ago outside Stark County) from one of the people who said they had it, but a police report had never been made.
The family is crushed and they are trying to put the pieces of their family back together. King’s mother speaks out all the time regarding the injustice her family is facing. Many people believe if the tables were turned, and King had shot the white neighbor, King would still be in jail or would have already been charged.
JUSTICE FOR KING PLEASANT ❤️