One thing that you get enough of as a Boston criminal lawyer is human drama. An example is the 10-year-old boy who accidentally fatally shot his cousin in 2007 in Roxbury. He has now testified at the trial of the boy’s mother, who is now facing an involuntary manslaughter charge for not properly storing the gun used in the shooting.
At the time of the incident, he was 7 years old.
The boy began his testimony with smiles…but that soon changed as he recalled the day at issue.
He recounted that he had been watching TV with Liquarry J., 8, (hereinafter, the “Deceased”) when the Deceased showed him the gun that he said belonged to his teenaged half-brother .
“I asked him if there were bullets in the gun. He said, ‘No,'” the boy said.
“I did it by accident,” he said.
The Deceased’s mother and half-brother, were both charged in the June 24, 2007, death of the Deceased with wantonly and recklessly storing an unregistered pistol within reach of a young child. The teenager pleaded guilty to nearly identical charges in 2008.
As the trial against the mother entered its second day, a paramedic also testified, describing the scene when he arrived, then recounting how, as the Deceased was rushed to Boston Medical Center, he complained repeatedly that his stomach hurt.
On hearing the testimony about the last minutes of her son’s life, his mother wept uncontrollably, saying, “He said it hurt. He said his stomach hurt.” The outburst was so intense the judge called a recess in the trial.
Such are the absolute tragedies of which such human dramas are made. In the Criminal Justice System, we face them every day. People often tell me that they do not know how I deal with it. There are a few ways that one can deal with it. Some people simply get jaded. It would be easier not to care.
That option is not open to me; I care. So, my way is to keep myself armed with a gallows-type sense of humor to which I give voice when it seems appropriate. Sometimes, you have to laugh or you will cry.
My opinion is that the sight of a criminal defense attorney simply crying in the middle of a courtroom does not exactly inspire faith.
This case is about a homicide. The case does not involve any intent to kill anyone. However, as we have brought more and more legislation about gun possession, we have become increasingly tough when accidents happen.
Storage of a gun at home, particularly when there are kids around, is something that many of us would discourage. However, if one does decide to do it, one has to follow the rules.
The fact is that, even if you have a legal license to possess and carry a firearm, it must be kept in a safe and lock-up manner. Otherwise, the owner is likely to find him or herself locked up.
I am not sure which side called the young boy to testify. However, it was a risk. Since the facts of how the shooting took place may not be at issue, jurors are likely to wonder why the two sides did not simply stipulate to said testimony rather than put the juvenile through that.
In any event, if you decide to own a weapon, be sure it is stored in accordance with the law. Failure to do so will not only result in losing the right to have the weapon, but, potentially, the loss of liberty as well.
As always, if you have been charged with a crime regarding the possession, use or storage of a firearm, you want to be sure to retain an experienced attorney. Should you wish h that attorney to be me, please feel free to set up a free initial consultation by calling (617) 206-1942.
To view the story upon which today’s blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/08/the_10-year-old.html