Lake Stevens dad whose toddler son shot himself pleads not guilty to reckless endangerment

EVERETT -- Not guilty was the plea Thursday from a Lake Stevens father whose 3-year-old son shot himself in the face with his dad’s gun.

Jon Holzwarth could face up to a year in jail and $5,000 in fines if he’s convicted.

His son, Michael, continues to make an incredible recovery. The boy’s mother said doctors would soon fit him with temporary teeth after the bullet shattered his upper jaw.

The shooting took place in November when police said the boy grabbed his dad’s loaded gun from on top of a bedroom dresser and accidentally shot himself in the face.

Michael was airlifted to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center in critical condition, but he’s made a quick recovery.

His father is criminally charged with reckless endangerment, accused of leaving his gun within reach of his son.

Holzwarth said his family is also beginning to heal even though his wife said she recently served him with separation papers.

“We’re coming together as a family, having dinner together,” Holzwarth told the judge Thursday. “We go to the park, we play together, we go to the zoo together.”

Holzwarth won’t have to post bail but the judge said he’s not allowed to have guns around any children, and he won’t be able to visit with his son privately while the case is under way.

Holzwarth  will be back in court in May.

Meanwhile, Michael will likely need surgeries and speech therapy for the rest of his life.