Manslaughter Charges for Utah Dad Who Left Gun Within Reach of Toddler

A Utah dad is facing manslaughter charges after leaving a loaded gun within reach of his toddler.

Loaded gun around children

Photo by: RONg

27 year old Tasman Maile, father of two, was booked into Salt Lake County jail after his two year old son got a hold of a loaded gun and shot himself in the head. The child was not expected to survive and was on life support only long enough for his organs to be collected and donated. Maile, who reportedly fell asleep while spending time with his two and seven year old had left the firearm within reach of the toddler while the gun was loaded and the safety was off. He is facing multiple charges including second degree felony manslaughter.

Reckless manslaughter

Although Maile did not intentionally cause the death of his son, his actions constituted manslaughter as he “recklessly cause[d] the death of another” as stated in Utah Code 76-5-205 due to his leaving an obviously dangerous weapon where a child too young to understand the potential hazard would be able to find it. Manslaughter is punishable as a second degree felony with a possible fine of up to $10,000 and a prison term of one to 15 years, although the loss of his child will last a lifetime.

Responsible gun owners only

With almost anyone being able to purchase and own a firearm, there are responsibilities that must accompany this right. Gun owners are expected to use and store their firearms safely. Rules such as not pointing guns towards people, keeping the gun unloaded until being used, and not being under the influence of alcohol and drugs are given when possessing a firearm. One of the most important rules to ensure the safety of others however, is to never have guns accessible to children.