Man gets probation for not locking up firearm that killed stepdaughter

Jared Dubois

The toddler gained access to the .45 caliber gun because the weapon was not properly stored away, police determined. Dubois was in the living room watching television when he heard the gun go off.

FRESNO – A former gun safety instructor and ex-Marine who once lived in a home with dozens of firearms will have to avoid guns altogether, a Fresno Superior Court judge decided Monday, nearly three months after the man’s stepdaughter was accidentally shot and killed inside the home by her 2-year-old brother.

Jared Dubois was sentenced Monday to three years of probation for the May 29 death of his 6-year-old stepdaughter, Emily Lavender. Starting in November, Dubois will have to wear an electronic monitoring device for 270 days. Along with the device, he’s required to put in 500 hours of community service and was ordered to not be in the presence of any dangerous weapon.

Mark Coleman, the attorney for Dubois, felt the ruling made by the court was a reasonable one.

“I think that justice was served by the court’s decision,” Coleman said. “I think it was a well-reasoned decision.”

Lavender was shot and killed after her 2-year-old brother accidently fired a round from one of Dubois’ guns inside their North Boyd Avenue home. The bullet struck Lavender in the chest while she was playing with her sisters in one of the bedrooms.

The toddler gained access to the .45 caliber gun because the weapon was not properly stored away, police determined. Dubois was in the living room watching television when he heard the gun go off.

Coleman said that despite the death of Lavender, the remaining siblings are not fearful of their father and that every weapon inside the North Boyd Avenue home has been removed.

“I’ve personally met with the kids. They give no indication that they’re afraid of Jared,” Coleman said. “They show him affection. They come to him. They show no sign of being afraid.”

Due to the tragic episode, Dubois is expected to become a public speaker regarding the importance of gun safety around children.

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