Mom of boy in Bremerton school shooting pleads guiltyon May 15, 2012 @ 11:32 am (Updated: 12:33 pm - 5/15/12 )
Jamie Lee Chaffin and her boyfriend, Douglas Bauer, had been charged with illegal possession of a firearm and assault in the Feb. 22 shooting at Armin Jahr Elementary that left 8-year-old Amina Kocer-Bowman critically wounded.
As part of a plea deal, Chaffin pleaded guilty to two counts unlawful possession of a firearm Tuesday and prosecutors recommended a sentence of 14 months in prison. In exchange, the assault charge against her was dropped. She also agreed to testify against Bauer, who owned the .45 caliber handgun that Chaffin's son brought to school.
"We didn't get the result we wanted at this stage, but I fully expect we're going to get it ultimately," said Bauer's Defense Attorney, Wayne Fricke. While the charges of unlawful possession of a firearm against his client were dismissed, he had hoped to have the assault charge dropped as well.
"He didn't do anything to assault the victim in the case," Fricke said.
According to police, Bauer's gun accidentally discharged from inside the boy's backpack. Bowman was struck in her right arm and her right side. The bullet is still lodged in a muscle near her spine because doctors say a surgery to remove it would be too dangerous.
The prosecution argues that the shooting was due to "extreme negligence" on the part of Chaffin and Bauer.
The family of Amina Bowman said they are disappointed with the deal given to Chaffin. Their attorney, Jeffrey Campiche, called it a "slap on the wrist."
"I don't think that the Bowmans will ever feel that 14 months is adequate for what their daughter endured," Campiche said. "They feel that the mother was more accountable than she was held. They feel that Amina was left out of the plea bargain."
The boy in the case has pleaded guilty in juvenile court to unlawful possession of a firearm, bringing a weapon to school and reckless endangerment. In exchange for the guilty plea, he was given probation and was expected to testify against his mother.
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