A Montoursville man was found guilty on charges in connection with a March 2015 incident in which his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son was injured after shooting himself with Asher’s gun.
The jury found 22-year-old Cody Asher guilty of the following counts: simple assault, endangering the welfare of children, and recklessly endangering another person. He was not found guilty of one simple assault count and two aggravated assault counts. Judge Richard A. Gray will sentence Asher on November 21st. He is currently out on $75,000 bail, which is unsecured.
Asher and his girlfriend Amanda Fry were taking a shower when Fry’s son, known as “Little Zack”, picked up the .45 caliber handgun from the bedroom floor. The handgun was cocked and loaded. The child, then age 2, shot his groin area. He had to have numerous surgeries and he also went through therapy. He is now recovered.
Robert Cronin, who is Asher’s defense attorney, said the following his closing statements, “My client has a weapon for protection … Unfortunately, this weapon did something contrary, and a child was able to get to it.” He also added, “This was a tragic situation… There may even be some questions about parenting skills. This is not criminal … At best, this is carelessness.”
However, assistant district attorney Martin L. Wade had a different opinion. He said the following about Asher, “He knows [Little Zack] has a fascination with guns … He’s a little boy who likes to play with guns.”
According to what Fry said in earlier testimony, she had told her son that the only guns he could touch were his fake toy guns. Wade’s response to that statement was the following, ” ‘Hey, don’t touch this.’ For any 2-year-old in the world, that’s a great invitation to touch it.”
According to Fry in her testimony, she told Asher to keep the handgun in a locked gun safe. Asher wanted the gun to be quicker to get to, so Asher and Fry agreed to not have the chamber loaded. Wade went on to say, “He lies to her and tells her he won’t keep a round in the chamber,” Wade said. “We know he lies because he tells the police, ‘No, no, I always keep a round in the chamber’ … He doesn’t get to claim, ‘I didn’t know.’ ”
In a separate incident, Fry was found guilty of recklessly endangering her child. Her sentence, which she received in January, included accelerated rehabilitative disposition for a period of two years and community services for 50 hours total. The charges against Fry could be dismissed within two years if she finishes the program.