A Hiram man and his 11-year-old stepson have been charged with the death of a teenage girl at a Mableton apartment.
Police accuse Jahleel Brown’s stepson of finding the man’s unsecured gun and accidentally shooting and killing a 14-year-old girl.
Brown was arrested Sunday afternoon on charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct, according to jail records. He bonded out the same day with a bail of $38,720.
The boy, whose identity hasn’t been released, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct in juvenile court, said Kimberly Isaza, spokeswoman for the Cobb County district attorney’s office. There’s no provision requiring the 11-year-old to be charged as an adult.
“We will review the case when we receive it to determine our next step,” she said.
The shooting occurred Dec. 6 at the Sierra Forest apartments on Mableton Parkway.
A warrant said that the boy found Brown’s 9 mm Hi-Point handgun in a bedroom and shot the girl, identified by Channel 2 Action News as Destiny McNichols.
“The boy was screaming that he shot her by accident and he was crying. I guess he was wondering what to do next,” witness Ghervon Blue, told the news station.
An ambulance rushed her to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, where she died.
The warrant described Brown leaving his gun out as a “substantial and unjustifiable risk.”
Witnesses and others who know the family told investigators about times when the boy had the gun and was "showing off" to his friends, the warrant said.
But it wasn’t just the boy.
There was one incident in which a three-year-old at the apartment found a gun and was walking through the apartment, until the child’s mother took the gun away. She ordered Brown to take the gun out of the apartment.
Court records show that Brown has a history of minor traffic infractions and an 2001 drug charge.
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