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Father indicted with 'involuntary manslaughter' of his daughter who was killed by a police officer in self-defense

60-year-old Donald Meyer Jr. was being evicted from his home when he pointed a loaded AR-15 rifle at a constable.
UPDATED MAR 24, 2020
(Source:Getty Images)
(Source:Getty Images)

A 12-year-old girl was shot to death when her father aimed his gun at a constable, who opened fire and mistakenly hit the daughter instead. Now, the Pennsylvania father is being charged with manslaughter.

The shocking incident took place when 60-year-old Donald Meyer Jr of Duncannon was being evicted from his residence on January 11, 2016.

According to Perry County authorities, an enraged Meyer pointed a loaded AR-15 rifle at Constable Clark Steele.

Quick to respond, the officer immediately fired a single shot in self-defense. However, the bullet went through Meyer's arm and hit his daughter, 12-year-old Ciara Meyer, who was standing right behind him.

According to Fox News, the bullet struck her chest in a fatal shot.

On Friday, a jury found Meyer guilty of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and a few other counts after deliberating for over two and half hours.

District Attorney Andrew Bender ruled that while Meyer did not pull the trigger at his daughter, he was responsible for her death.

According to Penn Live, he said, "Parents are supposed to protect their children. Not put them in harm's way."

Property manager Ashley Hill was just 20 feet away from the confrontation and recorded the entire incident on her cell phone.

"He's not the triggerman, but he's responsible for what happened that day," Bender said. "If he had not done this, she would still be with us today."

According to her testimony in court, the child stepped up behind the father, begging him to stop.

"Ciara kept saying, "Dad, stop. Dad, stop,"' Hill recalled, as tears rolled down her cheeks. 

She also said that the 60-year-old had many anti-government views and "thought everyone was against him." 

Jerry Philpott, Meyer's defense attorney, blamed the constable for Ciara's death. He said that his client feared his home was "being invaded" and so picked up a gun he was cleaning to protect his residence, according to Penn Live.

Whether or not the constable acted appropriately is something the jury would have to take into account, the attorney said at the time.

"Mr. Meyer was afraid his home was being invaded," Philpott said. "He picked up a gun, which he was cleaning when this all started and went to the door to protect his home."

Meyer was recovering from a stroke when he appeared in court in a wheelchair.

Having said that, after the trial held in Lycoming County, family members said they were relieved with the verdict.

"We still talk about her today, every day actually, and this is a good day for her," said Jason Gehman, Ciara's uncle.

Currently, the 60-year-old father remains in custody without bail and will be sentenced at a later date.