Thursday, March 09, 2006

Mother Of 5-Year-Old Shot By Brother Charged

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The mother of the 5-year-old girl who was shot and killed by her 8-year-old brother last month was arrested Wednesday and charged with culpable negligence.

Ronda Webb, 32, was booked, then released on her own recognizance on the third-degree felony charge.

Taishay Shanks died Feb. 25 after being shot in the head inside their River Oaks Apartment on Harts Road

According to the arrest report, Webb left a loaded gun under a cloth on a china cabinet in her Northside apartment. The boy found the gun while looking for a pencil while the mother was out of the apartment checking on a load of laundry.

Webb told police she asked her boyfriend to bring the gun to her apartment because she was "having problems with some people in the apartment complex." She got the gun just one day before the fatal shooting.

State Attorney Harry Shorstein said the decision was made to charge Webb because the gun was not secured in any way.

"I think the prosecution of a case like this will make someone understand how serious we consider this problem," Shorstein said. "I believe that bringing attention to this issue by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the State Attorney's Office might be able to result in what we're all about -- that is trying to prevent crimes from happening in the future."

Three days after her daughter was shot and killed, Webb told Channel 4 that her son did nothing wrong and she was ultimately responsible for the shooting.

"It is not his fault. It is not his fault; it's not. He is a child. He was doing something that children do. I'm just going to take responsibility for that," Webb said.

Shorstein said he's not sure if Webb should go to prison if she's convicted because she has already suffered so much.

"I'm certain she's suffered greater punishment and consequences than this law allows," Shorstein said.

Leaving a loaded gun "under a cloth on a china cabinet." Now that's just dumb, she should be charged with what the state's attorney is suggesting.

Also, it wasn't her gun , it was her boyfriend's. I wonder if she was in any way not eligible to buy a gun legally. If so the boyfriend will have some charges coming his way too.