- Associated Press - Friday, May 23, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines man facing charges of manslaughter and neglect in the shooting death of his 4-year-old daughter is out on bail.

Adam Mead, 24, was released from the Polk County Jail Thursday night after his $17,500 bond was posted, court records show. His release came about an hour after he turned himself in to police, the Des Moines Register reported (https://dmreg.co/1kueR0C ).

Mead’s daughter, Lillium, died April 21 of a single gunshot wound to the chest. Mead told authorities the girl found a loaded .45 caliber handgun that he placed on a dresser as he moved around things in a bedroom. He said his daughter shot herself.

Mead said he turned away for a short time when he heard the gunshot behind him. He said he saw a shocked expression on Lillium’s face as blood spread on her clothing. The girl was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police said they believe Mead’s version of events.

“Evidence supports his statements, the autopsy supports his statements,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax. “There was nothing to suggest otherwise.”

Mead faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, neglect of a dependent person and two counts of making firearms available to minors. Court records do not list an attorney. Mead is scheduled to appear in court Friday.

Authorities say they discovered another gun in the home that was unlocked and within reach of Lillium. In total, police took seven weapons from Mead’s apartment, including a rifle.

Drake University law professor Bob Rigg said charges in such a case are rare. The county attorney could have chosen not to prosecute the case, but it’s all a case by case evaluation.

“There’s no hard and fast rule and a lot will depend on what the investigation revealed. A lot goes into charging decisions besides violation.”

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com

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