A Maine man who sent his 4-year-old son to day care with a loaded gun pleaded not guilty Thursday to misdemeanor charges, claiming the incident was a mistake.
Adam Keene, 31, of Madison, Maine, was charged in April with reckless conduct for allegedly putting his .380 caliber pistol into his son’s day care bag. The tot then brought the bag to his school, Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney told Reuters Thursday.
Maloney said she offered a plea deal to Keene and told Reuters that she didn’t pursue felony charges because she believed the incident was an accident.
"If I thought that he'd intended to have the gun go to day care, this would be a very different case,” the prosecutor said. "But I'm optimistic we'll be able to come to some common ground."
Keene legally owns the gun that his son brought to the day care in Hallowell, Maine. There was a round in the chamber of the pistol, but the safety was on.
Elizabeth Rollins, owner of the day care, said an employee noticed the gun. Rollins’ husband removed the gun from the day care.
Since the April incident, Rollins said she has had to reassure parents of children who go to the day care that her center is safe since the gun incident.
"I've put a lot of time into talking to parents about the incident and making sure that my kids, and theirs, are protected," she said. "We'll be happy for some closure."