Interesting story on conviction of woman whose son killed from window


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Frandy
July 29, 2005, 04:25 PM
Whew! Very interesting...


Mom Sentenced After Son Shoots Mailman

By RAMESH SANTANAM
Associated Press Writer

July 29, 2005, 11:56 AM EDT

PITTSBURGH -- The mother of a young boy who accidentally shot and killed a postal carrier was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison for illegally owning a gun and lying to federal authorities.

Latoya Burnette, 31, of Butner, N.C., tearfully apologized and asked for lenience, saying her son and two daughters needed her at home.

"I'm very, very sorry," Burnette said. "I'm very traumatized by this situation."

U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry called the killing "a tragedy of epic proportions" and told Burnette she failed in her responsibility as a mother.

Burnette pleaded guilty in March to illegally owning a gun that her son used to shoot Clayton Smith on June 23, 2003 while aiming at a tree outside his apartment window. Smith, 45, of Colliers, W.Va., was in a shopping mall parking lot nearby.

Federal prosecutors said Burnette shouldn't have had the gun because she was a felon -- convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. She also pleaded guilty to lying to federal authorities by saying she didn't own it.

Investigators tied Burnette to the shooting when she was in court on an unrelated matter in 2004 and said her boyfriend had taken her .380-caliber gun -- the kind of weapon used to kill the postal worker.

The boy, who was 9 at the time of the shooting, was not charged; investigators ruled the shooting was unintentional because the boy could not see Smith.

Burnette could have gotten up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition to the 18 months, McVerry sentenced Burnette to three years probation.
Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.

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Chipperman
July 29, 2005, 04:28 PM
Sad.

Sad for the Postal worker's family.
Sad for the child who has to live with this and losing his Mom.
From the info provided, it sounds like she should do time.

MICHAEL T
July 29, 2005, 06:23 PM
I would have gave her the whole 10 years. 18 mo is nothing She a fellon and she tried to cover it up. Its against the law for her to have a gun and a person died for no reason.. She gets 18 mo. Some pot head get caught selling a few OZ to his friends and does years. Both against fed law yet who doing more time.

Standing Wolf
July 29, 2005, 10:16 PM
I'd have given her the full ten years.

outfieldjack
July 29, 2005, 10:22 PM
10 years!

Souris
July 29, 2005, 11:18 PM
<SARCASM> Obviously, if we had more laws she would have been put away for a longer time. </SARCASM>

She should go to jail for the full 10 years. She commited a felony, got out of jail and then commited another one. She obviously was not rehabilitated when she was released the first time.

LiquidTension
July 30, 2005, 12:00 AM
Yeah, more jail time would be good. We definitely don't need to give her yet another opportunity to breed.

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