Mother charged with murder after daughter accidently kills herself
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June 24th, 2013 (10:38 AM).
New Orleans police have booked a 28-year-old St. Roch woman with second-degree murder after her 5-year-old daughter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound she suffered Sunday morning in her home.
According to police spokesperson Hilal Williams, the young girl was taken off life support and died late Sunday afternoon. The child's name has not been released by police.
Police booked Laderika Smith after she admitted she locked her daughter inside a bedroom alone at their home in the 2200 block of North Galvez Street while the mother went to the store. When she returned home, Smith found her daughter lying on the bedroom floor with a gunshot wound to the head. Police arrived at the home about 11 a.m. and the child was transported to the hospital.
A preliminary investigation indicates the child somehow found a .38-caliber revolver that was inside the home and accidentally shot herself in the head, Williams said. Smith confessed to having a gun inside the home, and police recovered the weapon.
Smith was originally booked with cruelty to a juvenile, but the charges were changed after the child died. In a statement police said, Smith's negligence directly resulted in the death of her daughter. According to police records, Sunday is also Smith's birthday.
Two minds on this - I think it's good that police are finally cracking down on parents who don't properly secure their weapons, but on the other this - legally - isn't the proper charge. Involuntary manslaughter would be a much better fit then second-degree murder.
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