As a Seattle Criminal Defense attorney, I keep myself up to speed on all major local criminal defense related stories. And as a parent, it breaks my heart to hear about the accidental shootings of children.
These two things collided in March of this year when off-duty Marysville police officer Derek Carlile stopped his van, and got out with his wife to go into an art studio to drop off business cards.
They heard a pop, ran back to the van, and discovered that one of his children had found a loaded gun (normally kept in his ankle holster), and shot his oldest daughter in the backseat.
She died the next day at the hospital.
Was this a horrific accident? Of course.
Was it criminal? In my opinion, absolutely. With all due respect to Officer Carlile, who I know did not intend this to happen to his little girl - the fact is - it was his weapon, it was loaded, and he left children unattended in a car with it. This accident is his fault. Plain and simple.
I applaud the Snohomish County Prosecutor's office for choosing to charge this case. I know I might be in the minority, but if a civilian would be charged for the same conduct, shouldn't a police officer be too?