Colorado woman pleads guilty in daughter's accidental shooting death

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Posted at 1:12 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 15:12:37-04

GOLDEN, Colo. — A Westminster woman pleaded guilty this week to felony child abuse in the accidental shooting of her three-year-old daughter, who died after her older brother fired a shotgun at their home last year.

Michaela Dawn Hartman, 25, was charged with child abuse — negligently causing serious bodily injury, a fourth-degree felony.

Her daughter, Ruby Jackson, died after the shooting on April 21, 2020.

Investigators learned that Hartman's two children were playing "swords" when the seven-year-old boy grabbed a shotgun that was unsecured on the couch, according to the First Judicial District Attorney's Office.

The young boy told authorities that he "pushed the button" and the shotgun went off. He said he did not know the gun was loaded.

Harman told investigators that she had loaded the gun the night before and brought it to the family room, where her children later found it.

Harman's sentencing is set for July 1, and prosecutors expect that she'll receive probation, along with mental health and substance abuse treatment.