Two Indiana parents have been arrested and charged with neglect and various drug offenses earlier this week. According to Daily Mail, the charges were prompted by a fatal shooting in March at their Lafayette home.
The Charges Against The Indiana Parents
According to the outlet, 27-year-old Deonta Jermaine Johnson and 24-year-old Shatia Tiara Welch were arrested on July 24. The parents have since been charged with “neglect resulting in death, two counts of neglect and neglect resulting in bodily injury.”
Additionally, the parents have been charged with “various drug charges,” including “conspiracy to commit dealing a narcotic drug” and “conspiracy to commit dealing marijuana.”
Authorities allege that their five-year-old son tested positive for cocaine while their 16-month-old infant tested positive for marijuana.
Furthermore, upon a search of Johnson and Welch’s apartment, officers allegedly found “93 fentanyl pills, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.”
More Details Regarding The March Shooting
According to Law and Crime, Johnson and Welch’s unidentified five-year-old son discovered a firearm in their residence on March 28. The boy allegedly used the weapon and fatally shot his infant brother, Isiah Johnson, once in the head.
Deonta Jermaine Johnson reportedly told authorities that he was asleep when he heard a “loud boom.” Additionally, he initially denied the shooting and suggested that the infant was “injured by falling or an injury caused by” the 5-year-old.
The father also “repeatedly denied having a gun in the apartment.”
However, when Welch later arrived at the apartment, she informed authorities of a gun at the residence. Additionally, she admitted that she lost a second set of keys to the gun’s lockbox.
“Welch further advised she has two sets of keys for her gun safe, one was on her person and one she claimed she lost a few days ago,” an affidavit reports, as per CBS News.
Upon further search, authorities located the weapon in a dresser.
In addition to the charges above, Johnson is also facing an obstruction of justice charge. Police allege that the father removed 400 grams of marijuana from the residence immediately after the fatal shooting, as per CBS News.
“When I arrived on scene, I don’t believe any life-saving measures were taken,” Lafayette police Lieutenant Matt Gard recalled, as per PEOPLE.
According to Daily Mail, Johnson and Welch face between 20 to 40 years in prison and a fine of $10,000 in connection to the fatal shooting.
Johnson’s trial is scheduled to begin on November 28. Welch’s trial will reportedly start on December 12, as per Law and Crime.