Murder charge dropped against father, mother’s charge downgraded in toddler’s shooting death

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – A judge dismissed a murder charge Wednesday against the father of a 13-month-old who died in an apparent accidental shooting.

Madison County District Judge Linda Coats said prosecutors didn’t have probable cause to charge Bradley Parker with reckless murder in the Aug. 25 shooting death of his son Dante, our news partner al.com reports.

The judge also reduced a charge against the child’s mother, Aleisha Parker, from reckless murder to manslaughter.

The Parkers were arrested in August and charged with murder after the child was shot at their home on Tybee Drive in Triana.

The account that investigators believe to be accurate came in a statement from Bradley Parker, according to testimony al.com reported Wednesday. The husband told investigators that he went downstairs that morning and saw his wife holding a gun near the child’s play pen, Madison County Sheriff’s Office investigator Jason Payne testified. The husband — in an attempt to prevent his wife from harming herself or their child — tried to take the gun away, Payne testified. The gun, a Smith and Wesson .38-caliber revolver, went off during the struggle, and Dante was struck by a bullet.

Payne said Bradley Parker told investigators Aleisha Parker had suffered depression in the past and threatened to harm herself.

The judge said the testimony suggested the case was a “horrible accident,”  and there wasn’t probable cause to believe the husband was culpable or to charge the wife with reckless murder, a Class A felony.

The case will be presented to a grand jury.

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