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$1 million bond greatly reduced amid lesser charges against 3 men arrested in connection with beating death of Akron teen Ethan Liming

Ethan, 17, was found dead near the basketball courts outside of the I PROMISE School on June 2.

AKRON, Ohio — After initially being held on a $1 million bond for murder connected to the beating death of 17-year-old Ethan Liming outside of the I PROMISE School in Akron, the three suspects accused in the case were given greatly reduced bonds amid lesser charges Thursday morning.

This change in bond comes after a Summit County grand jury issued new indictments on lesser charges against all three last week

Here are the new bonds set for each defendant as listed with their reduced charges:

  • 19-year-old Tyler Stafford: Bond reduced to $5,000 with one count of assault, one count of involuntary manslaughter. Pleaded not guilty with a pretrial date set for Thursday, Aug. 18.
  • 20-year-old Deshawn Stafford Jr.: Bond reduced to $25,000 with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of assault, one count of aggravated assault. Pleaded not guilty with a pretrial date set for Thursday, Aug. 18.
  • 21-year-old Donovon Jones: Bond reduced to $5,000 signature with two counts of assault. Pleaded not guilty with a pretrial date set for Thursday, Aug. 18.

All three had initially been charged with murder, which is why bond was previously set at $1 million for each defendant.

We streamed Thursday's arraignment hearings live, which you can watch in full below:

They were each arrested more than a week after Ethan was found dead near the basketball courts at the I PROMISE School shortly before 11 p.m. on June 2.

According to a preliminary investigation, authorities say Ethan was with a group of friends who pulled into the school parking lot that night. That's when Ethan and his friends reportedly got involved in a fight with at least three other males who were already playing basketball at the property.

Speaking in support of his client, Deshawn Stafford Jr.'s attorney, Jon Sinn, previously said all three defendants were chased from the basketball court after being hit with "hundreds and hundreds" of frozen liquid rounds from the SplatRBall guns. He further alleges all three were "assaulted" before Deshawn "defended himself."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in previous coverage of this story on June 13, 2022.

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