Trial begins for brothers accused in beating death of Akron teenager outside I Promise School

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 6:52 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 1:13 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - The jury trial for the two brothers charged in the beating death of a 17-year-old boy in the parking lot of the I Promise School began Wednesday in front of Summit County Court of Common Pleas Judge Tammy O’Brien.

Ethan Liming was killed on June 2, 2022.

Ethan Liming
Ethan Liming(Source: Akron Public Schools)

Deshawn Stafford Jr., 20, is charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault.

Tyler Stafford, 19, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault.

A third person, Donovon Jones, 21, pleaded no contest to two counts of assault, a first-degree misdemeanor, in October 2022.

Jones was given a 180-day suspended jail sentence.

Clockwise from bottom-left: Tyler Stafford, Donovan Jones, Deshawn Stafford Jr.
Clockwise from bottom-left: Tyler Stafford, Donovan Jones, Deshawn Stafford Jr.(U.S. Marshals Service)

Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett said Liming and three other teens drove into the parking lot of the school around 10:30 p.m. on June 2, 2022 and started discharging a SplatRBall gun at people on the basketball court. It is not clear if Liming fired the SplatRBall gun.

Both groups then began fighting and Liming was knocked unconscious, said police.

Liming’s family members said the suspects continued to beat him until he was dead.

One of Liming’s friends called 911 and when officers arrived at the I Promise School, Liming was pronounced dead at the scene.

Chief Mylett also said Liming’s friends and the people on the basketball court were no longer at the school.

U.S. Marshals and Akron police officers arrested all three suspects on June 11, 2022.