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Gun owner charged in California child's death

The 10-year-old child was the one who held the firearm during the deadly event, but the 56-year-old owner of the weapon is the person who is in legal hot water. The California man is facing more than one weapons charge in connection with the accidental shooting. The boy was reportedly playing with the gun when the weapons discharge occurred, shooting him in the chest. Also present was the man's 9-year-old daughter.

Official reports show that the man is facing involuntary manslaughter charges and other felony allegations such as criminal storage of a firearm. He could spend more than seven years in custody if he is convicted of the alleged crimes. He is slated to be officially arraigned in early December, and he remains free on a $100,000 bail.

Authorities say the man's wife had left to run an errand, leaving her 15-year-old son in charge of the house. The young man stayed upstairs playing on a computer, and he was not aware that the boy had even come over to the house to play. The pair was playing in the family garage when the incident occurred. Courtroom records show that the teen said he had seen the gun case in the garage, but he had never seen a gun in his home. The child told social workers that they had found the gun on a piece of furniture in the garage.

The defendant in the case is mostly under scrutiny because he left a loaded gun in a garage, where his children might have found it while they were playing. It is not clear whether the gun was actually secured in its case before the shooting occurred.

No matter the nature of the alleged weapons charges, this man deserves a fair and unbiased legal proceeding. This is clearly an emotionally charged issue, so the court must take extra care to protect the man during the legal process. Criminal defense attorneys can help defendants learn more about their legal rights when they are facing a felony weapons charge, empowering them to make the best decisions about their individual criminal cases.

Source: www.cbs8.com, "Trial ordered for gun owner in child's fatal shooting" Angelique Lizarde & Matt Johnson, Nov. 20, 2013

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