Woman Sentenced To Jail After Gun Went Off In Son’s Backpack At School

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Washington state woman was sentenced Friday to more than a year in jail over a 2012 incident in which her son brought a gun to school and it went off, critically wounding a classmate.

The Associated Press reported that Jamie Lee Chaffin was sentenced to 14 months behind bars for unlawful possession of a firearm. Chaffin was barred from owning or accessing weapons because of previous drug and forgery convictions, according to the Kitsap Sun.

Chaffin’s then-9-year-old son had brought a gun to school in February 2012, when it fired inside his backpack and injured his classmate Amina Kocer Bowman, according to the AP. Bowman spent more than a month in the hospital recovering from multiple surgeries.

The boy told investigators that he got the gun from a dresser at the home of his mother’s boyfriend and brought it to school because he was afraid of his classmates, according to the AP. He and his siblings also testified that there were other unsecured firearms in the home.

Chaffin, who didn’t have custody of her son at the time of the incident, avoided a third-degree assault charge by agreeing to testify against her boyfriend, according to the AP. Washington state’s Supreme Court later tossed the assault charge against Chaffin’s boyfriend, Douglas Bauer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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