- Associated Press - Saturday, May 24, 2014

HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) - The mother of a slain 4-year-old Hastings boy and her live-in boyfriend will stand trial on charges of child abuse resulting in death.

The 29-year-old woman and 30-year-old man waived their rights to preliminary hearings in Adams County Court on Thursday and were bound over to await trial in district court, the Grand Island Independent reported (https://bit.ly/1mj2RyS ).

A judge also lowered bond for each of the two, to 10 percent of $100,000. Bond for each had previously been set at $25,000.

Police say the woman’s older 9-year-old son shot his 4-year-old brother to death with a rifle last month.

The Associated Press generally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes. For that reason, the AP is not naming the adults or children involved the case.

Prosecutors say police, school and mental health officials had concerns about the 9-year-old’s often violent behavior and that officials had warned both his mother and her boyfriend in the weeks before the shooting not to have guns in the house and to lock up all knives and other sharp objects.

An arrest affidavit says the mother didn’t see the urgency in securing those items and made excuses for not locking them up, such as needing knives for cooking. Police say they found six firearms and ammunition - none of which had been locked up and were easily accessible - in the home after the shooting.

Officials also reported that the mother failed to keep several appointments with mental health officials regarding her son in the weeks before the shooting.

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Information from: The Grand Island Independent, https://www.theindependent.com


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