MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Madison County mother charged in the shooting death of her 13-month-old son was found guilty of manslaughter by a jury Thursday morning.
Aleisha Danielle Meyer Parker and Bradley Nathan Parker were both charged with reckless murder after a 2018 shooting they both said was an accident, according to investigators.
Both parents were arrested 12 hours after the child died at their home on Tybee Drive in Triana.
Bradley Parker’s charges were dropped after Madison County District Judge Linda Coats said prosecutors didn’t have probable cause to charge him with reckless murder in the Aug. 25 death of his son, Dante.
The judge also downgraded Aleisha Parker’s charge to manslaughter.
Bradley Parker said that he went downstairs that morning and saw his wife holding a gun near the child’s playpen, according to testimony given by Madison County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jason Payne.
In an attempt to prevent his wife from hurting herself or the toddler, Bradley Parker told investigators that he tried to take the gun away, Payne said. The gun, a Smith and Wesson .38-caliber revolver, went off during the struggle, and Dante was struck by a bullet.
According to Payne’s testimony, the husband told investigators that Aleisha Parker had suffered depression in the past and threatened to hurt herself.
Following the testimony, Judge Coats deemed the case a “horrible accident,” saying that there wasn’t probable cause to believe the husband was culpable or to charge the wife with reckless murder, a Class A felony.
Bradley Parker was released from jail following the judge’s ruling.
Payne testified that forensic evidence pointed to Aleisha Parker as the one who pulled the trigger, killing Dante. He also indicated that the pair had turned against each other, leading to the initial arrests of both.
Investigators testified Aleisha Parker changed her story several times on the day of the shooting, saying she stated that the gun went off because she accidentally fell down the stairs, but later claimed her husband was the one who had the gun.
The defense and prosecution argue that a fight between the parents proved she didn’t care about the safety of Dante, and if that’s true, a jury might feel the same way, leading to a murder conviction.
The bond for Aleisha Parker, allegedly pregnant at the time of her initial arrest, was reduced to $5,000.
Bradley Parker was indicted on April 1, 2022, resulting in a warrant being issued for his arrest, with a bond of $75,000.
Court records show Aleisha Parker pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter charge but now sits under a $100,000 bond.
A sentencing hearing for Aleisha Parker has been scheduled for April 27 at 11 a.m.