Mom of teen 'murdered' by his best friend calls for murder charge to be dropped
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: News Nation
The mom of a teenager who was shot and killed says the murder charge brought against his friend is unfair.
Jason Paholik and his friend Denver Johnson were sitting around a fire pit with some friends in the back yard of a property in Crown Point, Indiana, on 28 May, when the tragic incident happened.
According to the affidavit, Johnson jokingly pointed a gun at Paholik, 16, before shooting him in the chest, unaware that it was loaded.
When officers arrived at the scene, they heard Johnson say: 'He’s in the back. I shot him'.
Following the incident, Paholik was rushed to hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead.
Johnson, 18, has now been charged with murder, which was upgraded from reckless homicide, involuntary manslaughter, pointing a firearm and criminal recklessness.
And Paholik's mom has now come out and claimed that the murder charge is unfair.
Speaking to News Nation, Jennifer Paholik said she doesn't believe that her son's best friend should face such a severe charge.
"I know that Denver didn't do this on purpose, and he shouldn't be charged with murder," she told the channel.
"Him and Jason were best friends and it's not fair, it just does not sit well with me at all.
"It's already tragic, it's already horrible, I just feel like this is making it so much worse, and there are so many people that are hurting because of this."
When asked why the charge had been upgraded to murder, Ms Paholik said police had evidence that suggested it should be.
"They told me that if I watched a video, that I would understand, but I still don't understand," she said.
"Because I've watched the video and I know them and nobody has convinced me that Denver killed my son, that he purposely murdered him, no way."
She went on: "I mean, these guys are immature, he should have never had a gun in the first place, and they thought it was a toy, and he didn't even know it was loaded, and they're playing around like it's a toy."
As to how the pair came to be in possession of a firearm, Ms Johnson said it was a present.
"So the gun was actually gifted to my son, Denver, right on his 18th birthday from his boss, he was gifted it," she explained.
"Apparently, that is now something that is legal her in Indiana, anybody can gift an 18-year-old a gun."