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Lake Stevens dad whose toddler son shot himself pleads not guilty to reckless endangerment

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EVERETT — Not guilty was the plea Thursday from a Lake Stevens father whose 3-year-old son shot himself in the face with his dad’s gun.

Jon Holzwarth could face up to a year in jail and $5,000 in fines if he’s convicted.

His son, Michael, continues to make an incredible recovery. The boy’s mother said doctors would soon fit him with temporary teeth after the bullet shattered his upper jaw.

The shooting took place in November when police said the boy grabbed his dad’s loaded gun from on top of a bedroom dresser and accidentally shot himself in the face.

Michael was airlifted to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center in critical condition, but he’s made a quick recovery.

His father is criminally charged with reckless endangerment, accused of leaving his gun within reach of his son.

Holzwarth said his family is also beginning to heal even though his wife said she recently served him with separation papers.

“We’re coming together as a family, having dinner together,” Holzwarth told the judge Thursday. “We go to the park, we play together, we go to the zoo together.”

Holzwarth won’t have to post bail but the judge said he’s not allowed to have guns around any children, and he won’t be able to visit with his son privately while the case is under way.

Holzwarth  will be back in court in May.

Meanwhile, Michael will likely need surgeries and speech therapy for the rest of his life.

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7 comments

      • CITIZEN320000000

        The article says it pretty well…
        “We’re coming together as a family, having dinner together,”
        “…his wife said she recently served him with separation papers.”
        Sounds like he isn’t facing reality, living in his own world.

        • ZHAZER1959

          Good point. Hope he gets the whole year so he can think long and hard about his recklessness and the damage he’s done to his son. Not guilty my ass. What a horrific tragedy. Seems the mom has good sense to her.

  • "peety"

    typical gun owner, taking no responsibility. I wonder if he is even paying for his own sons medical costs? Probably not.

  • Faith Thayer

    All you posting in this thread make good and valid points…based on assumptions you have made about this family. One says “don’t split the family, that’s the worst thing you could do” while another says “‘throw his ass in jail”. There is a plausible scenario for each of these opinions to make sense. But let me fill in some blanks so no one is operating on assumptions. The father is gun LUNATIC. The single most important thing in his life is his guns, and access to them. The Mother has wanted protection from the father for a couple of years now, but the court didn’t grant it. She would have divorced him, but she knew that would likely lead to 50/50 custody where here son would be unsupervised in his home with loaded guns lying around. So she stuck it out for the safety of her child, living a life of verbal and psychological abuse while the nut father drained her of all her money and livelihood. One Ill fated night she made a decision to go to a friends funeral and leave the boy with the father alone. It only took that short time, out of the watchful eye of the mother, for the dad to lose track of his child entirely while he played with a loaded gun. If it is possible that there be a silver lining to this dark cloud, it is that now, if he is convicted, she will have no problem convincing a judge that the dad should not have custody.So my “inside scoop” take on the situation… Dad is a lunatic sociopath that needs to not see his kid again to allow this little boy to grow into a happy man. If not, the biy will be torn apart by the fighting, , manipulation and abuse perpetrated by his father toward his mother and her family.Although I believe there was a double standard for the cop, there is one glaring difference between this guy and the cop. This guy had gun locks placed in his hand the day before the accident and he said “Thanks, but no thanks. I wont lock my guns up” If that doesn’t show gross negligence, nothing will. Further, out of concern for his precious gun rights, he hid from emergency responders the fact the his son’s wound was even caused by firearm; further putting his sons life at risk. Can you imagine? An ambulance crew treating a boy for a split lip when he has a bullet in his head? yup, that happened.As far as his job, Ha, he hasn’t worked an honest job in years –

  • Derek

    san från passed a law all guns need to be locked up at home. nra challenged. us supreme court last week sided with san fran.
    we need to pass a law in this state all guns are to be locked up. supreme court said its legal.
    lets hurt gun owners legally!!!!
    this law would really hurt/piss them off. pissing them off is hurting them.