LAFAYETTE, Ind. (TCD) -- A 24-year-old woman and 27-year-old man were arrested on child neglect and other charges this week after a 5-year-old boy fatally shot his 1-year-old brother in March.
On March 28 at approximately 3 p.m., Lafayette Police Department officers went to the 500 block of Westchester Lane for a report of a shooting and found the infant deceased inside from an apparent gunshot wound. Detectives concluded the boy was fatally shot by his older brother after he accessed a gun in the apartment where he and his family lived.
Almost exactly four months later, on July 24, LaPorte City Police Department officers arrested Shatia Welch and Deonta Jackson following a traffic stop. The Lafayette Police Department announced they were taken into custody on preliminary charges of neglect resulting in death, two counts of neglect, neglect resulting in bodily injury, conspiracy to commit dealing a narcotic drug, dealing a narcotic drug, possession of a narcotic, conspiracy to commit dealing marijuana, dealing marijuana, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Jackson reportedly is also being charged with obstruction of justice.
The probable cause affidavit cited by the Lafayette Journal & Courier says Johnson switched his story multiple times. He reportedly said he woke up on the couch, saw the 5-year-old on the couch, "heard a boom, took the marijuana to the car" then found the 1-year-old victim. While searching the apartment, officials reportedly discovered over 90 fentanyl pills.
Welch reportedly told police she kept the firearm under her bed in a safe, but she took it out a few days before the shooting. Police later found the gun on her dresser.
Tippecanoe County Jail records show they are both being held without bond.