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Mother of Cleveland boy who accidentally shot his 1-year-old cousin is sentenced to four years in prison

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  • Mother of Cleveland boy who accidentally shot his 1-year-old cousin is sentenced to four years in prison

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Cleveland woman whose 10-year-old son accidentally shot and killed her 1-year-old nephew with her boyfriend’s gun was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison.

    Common Pleas Court Judge Kathleen Ann Sutula on Thursday sentenced Brittney McTier to six-months less than the maximum sentence she faced after the 32-year-old mother pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and two counts of endangering children in the April 20, 2019, shooting of Isiah Martin.

    As part of the plea agreement, McTier also gave investigators a statement in which she said the gun belonged to her boyfriend, court records said. Prosecutors as of Friday had not yet sought charges against the boyfriend, but McTier agreed to testify against him once they do, records said.

    McTier, who was on probation out of federal court on bank fraud charges at the time of the shooting, was not home when her son got hold of a pistol and accidentally fired the bullet that killed her nephew in her house on Rexwood Road in the city’s Lee-Seville neighborhood.

    She also faces charges in federal court in Cleveland that accuse her of being a felon in possession of ammunition.

    McTier asked her sister to babysit her son while she went to a birthday party at the Bahama Breeze restaurant in Beachwood, according to court records. The sister brought her 1-year-old son to McTier’s home, and while the children were playing upstairs she heard a gunshot. She rushed upstairs and saw the young child with a gunshot wound, records say.

    Police spoke to several members of McTier’s family after the shooting.

    The 10-year-old told police that he found the gun from beneath the mattress in McTier’s and her boyfriend’s room, court records say. He said he learned about guns from playing video games and took the clip out of the pistol so he could play with it, court records say. He said he did not know that a bullet remained in the chamber and it went off by accident. The boy put the gun back beneath his mattress, he said.

    The boy also told police the gun belonged to his mother’s boyfriend, and that the boyfriend came back sometime after the shooting to retrieve the gun from the bedroom.

    Two other members of McTier’s family, another sister and her mother, said that the boyfriend told them that he fetched the gun from the house “because it was his,” records say.

    Police obtained an arrest warrant charging McTier with endangering children two days after the shooting.

    McTier and her attorney met with investigators last week in which she told them that she did not know her boyfriend had the gun in her home.
    Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. James Madison, Federalist Paper No 10