The parents of a 2-year-old, who was shot and killed in 2010 by her 5-year-old step brother, claim they told their children “not to touch the gun unless momma and daddy are around.”
On July 12, 2010, in Tennessee, 2-year-old Camron Wallace was shot and killed with a .45-caliber revolver by her step-brother, who found the loaded gun in his parents’ nightstand.
According to Raw Story, police found two loaded weapons in the Wallace home, both within reach of the children.
The Chattanooga couple, 24-year-old Samantha Wallace and 27-year-old Thomas Wallace, were charged with negligent homicide. Their trial began Tuesday.
The Wallace's have other children, and Samantha Wallace claimed that the older two were taught how to properly use firearms. Both of the older children have their own .22-caliber rifles.
“He has a .22 Chipmunk that his daddy had when he was a kid and he’s shot that gun probably five, six, seven, eight times,” Samantha Wallace said of the 5-year-old. “We sat them all down and they know not to touch the gun unless momma and daddy are around.”
The day of the shooting, Camron and her step-brother had just finished lunch and bathtime. Their mother said she let the boy sleep in her room because his bedroom was hot. A few minutes later she heard a pop. She claimed she didn’t think it was a gunshot and then the older children came to tell her that Camron was bleeding.
Camron was shot in the chest. She had no pulse when firefighters, police and paramedics arrived.
Thomas Wallace said the gun was wrapped in a towel in his nightstand because there had been reports of home invasions and that a group of men had recently knocked on their front door at 2 a.m. He said the gun was usually kept high up in his closet.
"The only reason we're here today is because the state wants you to hold these parents criminally responsible for the death of their child," said defence attorney Steve Brown in his opening statement.
"Because Camron Wallace died on that day," Brown said. "The facts are the facts and we can't sugarcoat them, but we also can't sugarcoat the reason why we're here."
If convicted, the parents could face eight years in jail.