Charges may be brought in Child death - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Charges may be brought in Child death

July 18, 2007

Valdosta --  Valdosta police haven't decided if charges will be filed in the case of a three-year-old boy who shot and killed himself with a pistol he found. They say the case may be ruled a tragic accident.    

Police are still deciding whether or not to file charges in the shooting death of a Valdosta child.

"Evidently a hand gun, a .45 caliber Taurus, was left loaded on a nightstand in one of the bedrooms.  It looks like the child got a hold of the hand gun and shot himself in the neck," said VPD Commander Brian Childress.  

The boy, Steven Bustillos-Ramirez was only three years old.  He stumbled upon the gun and shot himself yesterday morning while his mother, Eva Castillo, was cleaning this home on Northwood Circle.  

Police and neighbors say this could be the first time Castillo brought Steven to work with her, although she was known to regularly bring in her two other children, ages 7 and 10. Because of this, police are considering whether or not to charge anyone with reckless conduct for Steven's death. 

That law states--  "When a person knowing disregards substantial dangers and the end result is someone has been injured or dies," said Childress.

However, they said there are many factors to consider before any charges are filed. "We are looking at the fact, did the mother know the gun was there?  We are also looking at the fact, did the people who live there know a gun was there and that on a routine basis that the cleaning lady brings here child in," said Childress.

But they also say, mistakes happen.  And this case could very well be ruled as just a tragic accident.   

 Police will consult with the district attorney and the Department of Family and Children Services before deciding whether anyone will be charged.    

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