Couple plead not guilty in Tacoma boy's gun death

Mar 28, 2012

TACOMA, Wash. — A mother whose 3-year-old boy shot himself with a gun he found under a car seat is pleading not guilty to a manslaughter charge, along with her boyfriend.

Twenty-three-year-old Jahnisha McIntosh and 22-year-old Eric Vita made their initial appearance Wednesday afternoon in Pierce County Superior Court.

Julio Segura-McIntosh's death on March 14 was the third child shooting in Western Washington within three weeks.

Vita and McIntosh stopped for gas in Tacoma, and prosecutors say Vita placed his gun under the passenger seat. McIntosh then moved it so Julio couldn't reach it, but she went into the convenience store leaving Julio unrestrained.

Julio found the gun and shot himself in the head.

Vita's attorney says Vita acted reasonably, and if the mother had stayed in the car, the tragedy would not have happened.