Man Accused in Toy Box Shooting Maintains His Innocence | News
LAS VEGAS - Tragedy struck a MacDonald Ranch community in September 2011 when investigators say an 11-year-old visiting a home found a handgun in a toy box. The boy told police he thought the gun was not real, and investigators say he accidentally shot his 5-year-old nephew Bobby Martin.
"Did you mean to shoot your nephew?" a police detective asked the 11-year-old in a police recording.
"No, I didn't even mean to point it. I didn't mean anything. It's a toy gun," the boy replied.
According to court documents, the 11-year-old says he thought confetti would shoot from the barrel, not a deadly bullet that ultimately took little Bobby's life in a room where the children were playing.
"When the gun went off, was it pointed at your nephew?" the detective asked the shooter.
"I don't know," the boy answered.
"What happened after the gun went off?" the detective asked.
"I looked at him. I didn't know what to do. Frankly, I thought this was all fake. It's just so hard to put in my mind," the boy said.
Sidney Jacobs owned the home. He has been charged with abuse and neglect.
"This was a terrible, terrible thing. It was not an accident," he told 8 News NOW in his first interview since the incident occurred. "When it first happened, I was shocked. I didn't know what happened. I didn't understand what happened. But, then everybody blames you, and then this happens, and then you realize it was still done on purpose. They offered me a deal with no jail. It's not about that. I'll risk that to show that this kid did this on purpose."
Bobby's mother Cristin Wacaser is the older sister to the 11-year-old boy who fired the gun and says those claims are outrageous.
"It's disgusting. The guy knows that it wasn't done on purpose. If that's his way of going around a child's death, he doesn't even want to man up for anything," she said. "It's disgusting that he's trying to blame a child who had never been to his home and never had seen a gun before."
"When he came to me, he didn't tell me the truth. He was smiling. He was giggling. He was definitely excited about shooting," Jacobs said.
Wacaser says her younger brother was best friends with Bobby and would never even think about pulling the trigger on a real gun.
"I figured (it was) harmless," the boy said in the police recording. "Who would put a real gun in a toy chest unless they were a little out of it? So, I just figured it was completely harmless."
Jacobs says he did not leave the gun in the toy chest, and he says the family of the children knows that. Jacobs says he shouldn't be charged.
The family says he is responsible, because they say he knew of several weapons in the house that were not secure. The family of the children says he's getting off lightly.
Meanwhile, a judge Wednesday agreed to allow the attorney general to prosecute this case. That's because newly-appointed District Attorney Steve Wolfson used to represent Jacobs, causing a potential conflict of interest.