My grandson’s tragic suicide

Ethan was the most gregarious, full of life child and young man, with the most beautiful smile and sky blue eyes. He was thoughtful, loving, insightful and had a heart of gold. He had ADHD and probably bipolar disorder. At 14 he was molested by an adult. At 10 he lost his mother to meth addiction. He was in and out of psychiatric centers, but didn’t lose his zest for life and hope for a good life and future. He made the foolish choice at 19 years old to engage in a sexual act with a 15 year old girl that had been pursuing him for months. He immediately felt bad and went to her mother and confessed and apologized. She brought charges and he went to prison, labeled a sex offender, for sexual indecency with a child, and served almost four years. He was released on parole in June of 2012, and struggled to find his place in life outside of prison. Few people were willing to let him live with him, and he found it difficult to follow the rules at my house and was asked to find another option. His dad agreed to let him move in, and the parole officer checked out and approved the residence. Ethan’s dad had some delays on his vacancy in the house and kept postponing the move in date. Ethan stayed with his great grandma and worked cutting trees every day with his uncle. He got a parole violation for failure to register since he wasn’t living there, and not paying his fines. He admitted he had been drinking and asked to go to treatment. He was denied this request and was going to have his parole revoked, returning him to prison. On Feb. 8, he sent out a text message to his loved ones saying to forgive him for what he was about to do, but he just couldn’t go back to prison, and he went to the place where his grandfather killed himself ten years prior, and shot himself in the head. He was abused in prison and he was heartbroken to have this label, not allowing him to date women his age with kids or even to live with family with children. I am dedicated for the rest of my life to do what I can to change the laws that condemn a teenaged boy for having a sexual relationship with a younger teen. How many couples got together at these ages? I certainly did and most everyone I ask did also. Please write letters, draft bills, and speak out about this injustice and the tragedies that result from it.

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