Sunday, March 7, 2010

Parents Convicted in Child's "Accidental Shooting"

SFGate reports on the conviction of the parents whose 8-year-old shot and killed his little sister. We talked about it before.

The parents of a 2-year-old Vacaville girl who was accidentally shot to death by her 8-year-old brother have been convicted of criminal charges, an attorney in the case said Friday.

Michael Shanahan, 28, and Daniela Shanahan, 26, could each face up to two years in prison in connection with the Sept. 23 death of Ayana Shanahan.

Michael Shanahan pleaded no contest Thursday in Solano County Superior Court to one count of unsafe storage of a firearm. Daniela Shanahan pleaded guilty to one count of child endangerment.

Prosecutors are seeking two-year prison terms when both are sentenced April 30. But defense attorneys will argue for probation on the grounds that the parents have already suffered enough, said Michael Shanahan's lawyer, Anthony Finkas.

"Obviously, they are devastated by what happened," Finkas said. "They're serving a life sentence based on their apparent negligence."

Ayana was shot once in the head at the family's home on the 1000 block of Syracuse Circle as her brother was playing with a handgun.

The boy did not think the gun was real, police said. The parents were home at the time.

Michael Shanahan was an active Army reservist at the time of the shooting, and the gun that killed Ayana was one of numerous weapons in the home, authorities said.

I feel the defense attorney has a good point and I wouldn't mind seeing probation as long as Mr. Shanahan would forfeit his right to own guns forever.

What's your opinion? Do you think that "forever" part is too severe? Should a guy be punished so strongly for having made a mistake, one which he's not likely to repeat given how much it cost him? Or do you think like I do that guys who prove to be this irresponsible with guns once, are in fact likely to repeat?

Please leave a comment.

1 comment:

  1. Mike Shanahan!!

    Man, now what are the Redskins gonna do for a coach??