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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A local mother has been convicted of endangering the welfare of her children, after she left her boys home alone and one of them accidentally shot and killed the other.
Kayleigh Potter’s 10-year-old son accidentally shot and killed her 6-year-old son after he found her loaded gun in her purse.
During the trial, 911 calls were played, some of which were so upsetting KDKA chose not to air them.
On Aug. 9 2017, Potter called 911 and said, in part, “My 10-year-old said my 6-year-old shot himself with my gun, but my gun’s in my car, and I can’t get ahold of him now.”
Potter, 30, left her children home alone at their house on Dover Lane in West Mifflin.
Here is more from the emergency call:
Potter: Yes, I’m the kid’s mother. What happened? My gun’s in my car.
West Mifflin dispatcher: Okay. What’s going on there ma’am? Are you home?
Potter: No, I’m at work. I’m getting an Uber home now.
West Mifflin Dispatcher: Who is home with the 6-year-old?
Potter: He was with my oldest son.
West Mifflin Dispatcher: How old is your son?
Potter’s son 10-year-old son, James, found his mother’s handgun in her purse in her bedroom.
The gun was loaded and unlocked.
One accidental shot was enough to take the life of his brother — 6-year-old Julian Hoffman.
“This never should have happened. It’s a tragedy. Now, I have one nephew that’s deceased, and one nephew who is struggling, who’s never going to have a normal life,” said Nina Marone.
KDKA’s Julie Grant Reports:
She is the boys’ great aunt and helped care for the children. Marone spoke with KDKA at the time of the preliminary hearing.
“My husband would take them to the grocery store with us, let them pick out whatever they wanted to take home to eat, because they always said that there was no food at their house, so we would send them home with bags of food for them,” said Marone.
After a bench trial, the judge found Potter guilty of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of her children offenses and two misdemeanor level drug offenses.
Potter was found not guilty of felony charges of child endangerment and making false statements on her firearms purchase form.
Potter was sentenced to serve 10 years of probation. As part of her probation, she is not allowed to own any firearms. She must complete parenting classes and undergo a mental health evaluation.
Right now, her son James is not in her care.