The father of a 4-year-old who accidentally shot herself in April was arrested this afternoon on four felony and misdemeanor charges.
Adam Mead, 24, turned himself in to Des Moines police. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter, neglect of a dependent person and two counts of making firearms available to minors.
Charging Mead in connection with his daughter's death is a rare move, one legal expert said.
Mead told police his daughter wandered into a bedroom in which he was moving things around. He set a loaded .45 caliber handgun onto a dresser and turned his back for a moment, authorities said.
Seconds later, he heard a single shot behind him. He turned to see a look of shock on his daughter's face and red spreading across her shirt, officials said.
Investigators said they believed Mead's version of events.
"Evidence supports his statements, the autopsy supports his statements," Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax said. "There was nothing to suggest otherwise."
If Mead is convicted of all the charges, he faces a maximum 17 years in prison.
The neglect charge, a Class C felony is the most serious and alleges Mead knowingly or recklessly exposed his daughter to a danger against which she couldn't be expected to protect herself.
The manslaughter charge accuses Mead of causing Lillium's death by the commission of another, non-felonious crime.
Officials also found a second, unlocked gun in an area where they thought Lillium could access it, Halifax said.
Police took seven weapons from Mead's apartment, including a rifle, three handguns and three pellet guns, Halifax said.
Prosecutors had several charging options, including child endangerment causing death, a Class B felony punishable by up to 50 years in prison, Drake University law professor Bob Rigg said.