LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The uncle of a 12-year-old boy shot while playing "Ding, Dong, Ditch" tells WAVE 3 News that the boy has turned a corner on the road to recovery. Meanwhile, the man accused of shooting him appeared in court again Friday morning.
"He left the critical care unit last night," said the boy's uncle, attorney Bart McMahon. "He's in a regular room. He had one of the chest tubes removed. He was able to sit up and give a statement to the police about what transpired."
It's a big sign of progress for 12-year-old Jacob Eberle. Police say he was shot by 56-year-old Michael Bishop Monday night, after a group of teens rang Bishop's doorbell and ran away.
Eberle was struck in the back, and Bishop is now on the hook for attempted murder.
When we asked Bishop if he had anything to say about the charges against him, he remained silent and dodged questions from reporters as he walked in and out of his court hearing.
He pleaded not guilty to attempted murder - a charge his attorney doesn't expect to stick.
"I don't believe that Mr. Bishop intended to hurt anyone that evening so I would find that remarkable if that charge were to stay in place," said Bishop's attorney, Alex Dathorne.
But that isn't the only legal problems Bishop faces: the Eberle family has filed a civil suit against him.
"What we're looking at is medical damages to get his medical expenses paid," McMahon said.
The family wants assurance about Jacob's future, due to what's been left behind.
"With the pellets that are in him - right now they're going to leave them in - but if they become symptomatic, they're going to have to come out, and we want to make sure Jacob is protected in the future," McMahon continued.
It all stems from one prank that's rattled two families, sparked two court cases, and will take a lot of time.
"We're talking about a man in his mid-50s who's never even had a speeding ticket in his entire life and in a snapshot of a moment he's been arrested and charged with attempted murder so obviously this has had a profound on his life also," Dathorne said.
"There's almost empathy, but not quite because all I can see is my nephew laying his hospital bed and suffering terribly right now," McMahon said.
Bishop remains free on bond with the conditions of no contact with the victim or his family and no weapons in the home. He's due back in court on July 5.
Due to the closeness of Bishop and the victim, the Commonwealth Attorney's Office also asked that Bishop be banned from his home. That motion was denied by the judge.