The Columbus Dispatch

Father gets prison after 23-month-old injured himself with gun in home

- John Futty

Demonte J. Walker Sr. was free on bond in an attempted-murder case last year when his toddler son picked up a gun in their Northeast Side home and shot himself.

Fortunatel­y, the child, who was transporte­d to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, survived.

Walker, however, is now facing prison time for the incident, which occurred while he was playing a video game. Police reported finding an Ak-47and three other guns in the house.

He pleaded guilty on Nov. 9 to a felony child endangerin­g charge, with a gun specification, and possessing a gun despite a felony conviction.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Chris Brown sentenced Walker, 25, to four years and nine months in prison, which was recommende­d by prosecutin­g and defense attorneys as part of a plea agreement.

He will be credited with the year he has spent in the county jail since his arrest in the case.

Walker had been free for four and a half months after posting a $100,000 bond in the attempted murder case when on the morning of Nov. 16, 2020, his then 23-month-old son found the gun in their home on the 2000 block of Bancroft Street on the Northeast Side, near Linden.

The child shot himself in the abdomen while handling the weapon. He recovered and has suffered no longterm effects from the injuries, Walker’s attorney, Frederick Benton, said.

Walker has been barred from possessing a gun since a 2012, when as a juvenile he was convicted of delinquenc­y attempted burglary.

Prosecutor­s have since dismissed the attempted murder charge, which stemmed from a drive-by shooting in which two people were injured on March 10, 2019 on Interstate 670 near Leonard Avenue. But Walker still faces improper-handling-of-a-firearm and illegal gun possession charges in the case.

Brown ruled that Walker won’t be transferre­d from the county jail to an Ohio prison until that case is resolved. @johnfutty

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