AUGUSTA, Maine — The father of a boy who took a loaded gun to a Hallowell day care center pleaded guilty to a reckless conduct charge on Tuesday, according to his attorney.
Adam J. Keene, 31, of Madison pleaded guilty to the Class D misdemeanor in Kennebec County Superior Court, but will serve no jail time, according to his attorney, Philip Mohlar. Keene was given a deferred disposition that requires him to participate in a restorative justice conference within 10 months.
He will meet with the day care workers, parents and kids to talk about how the incident affected them, said Mohlar. If Keene complies with the judge’s orders, he can withdraw his plea after 10 months and the charges will be dismissed.
Keene will also surrender his concealed weapon permit, but can reapply after 10 months, said Mohlar. He must perform 20 hours of public service work and attend a firearm safety class.
Mohlar said Keene took responsibility for the incident that occurred last spring and has apologized.
On April 23, Keene’s 4-year-old son inadvertently took a loaded handgun that was in his bag to Rollins Family Child Care Center. The semi-automatic pistol had a round in the chamber. Keene was charged with reckless conduct in June.
Keene did not know how the gun ended up in his son’s bag, said Mohlar, but theorized he may have placed it in the bag while cleaning out his truck.
“He’s taken responsibility for it,” said Mohlar. “He doesn’t know how it managed to end up there. But it happened on his watch, and the gun is his responsibility.”
According to Mohlar, Keene took the canvas shopping bag containing the gun into his home. The boy then took the bag to his mother’s house and then to the day care, Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said in April.
The gun was discovered by a day care worker who went into the child’s bag to retrieve an article of clothing, according to Maloney.
Maloney said in April that Keene reported his gun missing to police before the incident, but he allegedly didn’t tell his son’s mother that the gun was missing.
Maloney added that she did not believe Keene was intentional in his conduct but still viewed it as a serious offense.
“All weapons are seen as toys to children, and parents have a responsibility to take care of them,” said Maloney. “By failing to keep control of his weapon, Mr. Keene acted in a reckless manner that could have ended in tragedy, not only for his family, but for an entire day care.”