EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state police officer accused of leaving a loaded handgun in the family van where his young son could grab it and fatally shoot his 7-year-old sister has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree manslaughter charge.
Marysville police Officer Derek Carlile entered his plea Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court. The charge involves criminal negligence.
Prosecutors say the 31-year-old officer’s 3-year-old son grabbed a .38-caliber revolver from a cup holder bin next to the driver’s seat of the family van and fatally shot his sister, Jenna. The officer’s four young children were waiting in the van for Carlile and his wife to return from a quick errand on March 10.
Carlile’s lawyers have said that he takes full responsibility for his daughter’s death but disputes that he committed a crime.
Trial was set for Aug. 24. Carlile remains on paid administrative leave.