Wagswoofs – A 3-year-old child was tragically killed on Christmas Eve in 2021, and this week, a 24-year-old man from Independence was sentenced for the crime.
Jackson County Judge Jennifer Phillips handed down a 10-year sentence to Ashton Cleveland for the crime of involuntary manslaughter. Additionally, Cleveland received a four-year sentence for leaving the scene of an accident and a one-year sentence for second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. It’s important to note that all of these sentences will be served concurrently.
In October, Cleveland pleaded guilty to all counts.
Hostage family groups say that an American-Israeli hostage with ties to Orange County has died. In Independence on December 24, 2021, cops said a 3-year-old boy died when he picked up Cleveland’s gun and it went off. Then he ran away and was involved in a hit-and-run accident that hurt another family.
On Christmas Eve, as the Radford family was on their way home to bake cookies, they were unexpectedly struck by Cleveland near the intersection of Truman and Nolan roads. The impact of the collision caused the Radford family to spin out of control and collide with an electrical box.
Before the hit-and-run, police say, Benjamin Cope Jr. grabbed Cleveland’s gun, which went off, and hit the child with a bullet.