Parents Charged in 2-Year-Old's Death - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Parents Charged in 2-Year-Old's Death

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Samantha Wallace Samantha Wallace
Thomas Wallace. Thomas Wallace.

By Antwan Harris
Eyewitness News

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Police lights, crime tape, and a mother crying over the death of her child.

Steven Jarret remembers the chaotic scene as if it just happened. "I heard the lady come outside like, ‘she's not breathing, she's not breathing!'"

He is talking about 2-year-old Cameron Wallace.

She was killed in July when her elementary-age brother grabbed a gun in their home off Tinsley drive, and shot her in the chest.

Jarrett was on his front porch when he heard the shot fired.

"You could tell something was wrong because the body was not moving and it was just limp," Jarrett added.

After months of investigating, Wednesday police arrested the parents, Thomas and Samantha Wallace on a Criminally Negligent Homicide indictment.

Police say Samantha Wallace put the kids in her room to take a nap and stepped out on the back porch.

Once the gun went off, Wallace found the 2-year-old laying in a puddle of blood.

Chattanooga Police spokesperson Rebecca Royval said, "The gun was in the room with children and it was in a night stand."

That's why prosecutors don't believe the parents' grief is enough punishment.

We're told the couple had the gun for protection to ward off a would-be robber.

Royval said, "In this case, they had someone show up to their door late at night."

But investigators say that was no excuse for not have the gun properly stored away.

Jarrett said, "When someone loses his life, especially a child, it is never a good day."

The Wallace's posted their $2,500 bond after Wednesday arrest.

Their first court appearance is a week from Friday.

If convicted, they face anywhere from a year to six years in prison.

Since the shooting, the Wallace's children have been in state custody.

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