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ORANGE, Texas (AP) — A Southeast Texas woman has been charged with abandoning or endangering a child after a 5-year-old boy in her care died when he apparently shot himself with her gun.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office says a judge on Wednesday arraigned 19-year-old Melissa Ringhardt of Vidor and set bond at $250,000.
Investigators say Ringhardt was baby-sitting John Read in his Vidor home on Monday when he accidentally shot himself.
Authorities say Ringhardt, who was arrested Tuesday, was living with the Read family and the parents were gone during the shooting. The couple’s 6-month-old child was also at the residence but wasn’t hurt.
Ringhardt told authorities she was afraid to be home alone and left her pistol on a table when she took a nap.
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