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Charges against Black mother upgraded after 4-year-old dies

The mother was originally charged with second-degree cruelty to children
Charges against Black mother upgraded after 4-year-old dies
Image source: Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office

On Aug. 7, a 4-year-old girl found a gun in her mother’s car and fatally shot herself. The mother was initially charged with second-degree cruelty to children.

On Aug. 9, Dekalb County court officials said that the mother, 26-year-old Kaelin Lewis, is now facing a second-degree murder charge after she failed to secure the firearm in her car.

Lewis was driving during the evening of Aug. 7 when her daughter, Kendal Lewis, found a gun and discharged it, shooting herself. The arrest warrant stated that the gun was under the driver’s seat.

According to Georgia Law, a second-degree murder charge can be added if the child dies and if criminal negligence can be proven by the prosecutors. It is one of the few legal actions that Georgia prosecutors can use against parents or caregivers who don’t securely store their weapons since the state does not have a law requiring the safe storage of firearms.

According to a GoFundMe to help support the funeral costs, Lewis was supposed to start pre-K the next day.

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