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Teen admits to reckless homicide charge, father indicted in shooting death of 11-year-old Nelsonville boy

The Athens County Prosecutor's Office said the 14-year-old admitted in court to a charge of reckless homicide in the death of 11-year-old Eli Spangler.
Credit: Submitted photo
11-year-old Eli Spangler, Nelsonville, Ohio

NELSONVILLE, Ohio — A 14-year-old boy charged in the fatal shooting of an 11-year-old Nelsonville boy admitted to an allegation of reckless homicide in court Tuesday, according to the Athens County Prosecutor's Office.

According to the police report, Eli Spangler was at his friend's house on March 6 when the 14-year-old got a gun out of the cabinet to show it off.

The teen told police he had the gun and was showing off the laser and light when he dropped it. He said when he tried to pick it up one-handed, he accidentally grabbed the trigger and hit Spangler in the chest.

The teen told police the gun cabinet appeared to be locked, but he believes his dad forgot to change the combination on the lock because it did not fully lock and he was able to pull it open.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said the 14-year-old's case is being adjudicated in Athens County Juvenile Court.

Blackburn announced the teen’s father, 37-year-old Donald Platt, was indicted Tuesday morning on charges of involuntary manslaughter, endangering children and tampering with evidence.

Blackburn said Platt owned the gun that was used in the incident.

A pre-trial is scheduled for Platt on June 24 with a jury trial set for July 27.