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Philadelphia mother pleads guilty as boy, 2, shoots, kills sister

| Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, 8:33 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia woman pleaded guilty Thursday to involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment as a result of her 2-year-old son's picking up a loaded .357 revolver and fatally shooting his 11-year-old sister.

The toddler found the gun under a bed and shot Jamara Stevens while their mother, 31-year-old Tiffany Goldwire, was in the bathroom on April 5, prosecutors said.

Goldwire told police that a male friend she knew only as Mark left the loaded gun on top of the refrigerator the night before. Her 14-year-old son moved it to what he thought was a safer place in her bedroom and told his mother. But Goldwire told police that she was drunk and high that night, according to Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore.

“It's a very, very big gun,” Pescatore said. “How irresponsible. She just lets this man come in — on more than one occasion — and leave a gun there. It's not a high refrigerator, and there's a chair right there. Any kid could have crawled up there and gotten it.”

Goldwire's four children were playing in the bedroom when the toddler, who was on the floor, found the loaded, cocked gun and fired, prosecutors said.

Goldwire faces eight to 17 years in prison when she is sentenced on Sept. 27. She was on probation at the time of the shooting from an arrest on weapons and terroristic threat charges, Pescatore said.

A veteran homicide prosecutor, she could not recall a case that involved a child that young getting hold of a gun.

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