A woman who was babysitting a 5-year-old who fatally shot himself Monday with her gun has been charged with abandoning or endangering a child, a felony, and jailed in Orange County, Texas, police said Wednesday.
Bail was set at $250,000 for Melissa Ann Ringhardt, 19, said Clint Hodgkinson, chief deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The death was “avoidable,” according to Hodgkinson, who said Ringhardt failed to secure the gun while she was caring for the boy, John Allen Read, and a 6-month-old, both children of Kayla and Joe Read.
Ringhardt was a regular babysitter for the family, with whom she had been living in Vidor, Texas, for the past few months, police said in a statement. Vidor is 95 miles east of Houston.