A 19-year old Texan woman is charged with child endangerment after the 5-year old boy she was babysitting shot himself with her handgun. The little boy died.
Melissa Ann Ringhardt was living with the boy and his family for a few months in exchange for childcare and at the time of the incident was watching the boy and his 6-month old sibling. On the day of the accident, Ringhard left her .40-caliber handgun on a coffee table and went to take a nap. It was while she was sleeping the little boy found the gun and accidentally shot himself while playing with it.
Once she got us, Ringhardt noticed the boy wasn’t coming when she called to him and she went looking for him. That’s when she found his lifeless body. Since there was no phone in the house, she carried both children to their grandparents and called 911. The boy didn’t make it.
According to police in Vidor, Texas, Ringhardt says she carries the gun because she’s afraid to be alone in the house.
“People have the right to bear arms, and with that comes great responsibility,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Clint Hodgkinson said. “If someone, somehow, puts a firearm in a place where a child is able to get that weapon, you’ve committed an offense.”
Ringhardt is in jail and bond is set at $200,000. If convicted she faces between 6months and 2 years in jail. And a memory of an innocent life that will never have a chance to explore the world again. [ Source ]