A Memphis woman has been charged with reckless homicide after a 14-year-old girl was shot and killed with a gun that the woman knew her juvenile son was carrying. Though the shooting was accidental, the woman admitted to authorities that she had known about the gun for months. She stated that every time she would try to take it from her son, he would take it back. She always hid it in the same spot knowing that he knew where to find it.
Reckless homicide, by definition, means “…a person acts recklessly with respect to circumstances surrounding the conduct or the result of the conduct when the person is aware of, but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur.” It encompasses a wide range of scenarios in which carelessness, or recklessness, could be considered criminal.
In this instance, the woman not only acted recklessly by hiding the gun in the same spot each time she took it away, but most of all by not removing the gun from the home altogether. She admitted that she knew she needed to remove it. The juvenile confessed to buying the gun on the streets.
Reckless homicide in Tennessee is synonymous with criminally negligent homicide. Both are serious offenses that can carry hefty prison sentences and fines. In addition, the family of the deceased may choose to pursue a civil wrongful death claim that could award them significant compensation. Anyone who has been charged with a crime of this sort should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. It is highly advised that you do not speak to authorities without an attorney present in order to prevent further incrimination.