published Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Attorney asks judge to revoke bonds in toddler death case in Hamilton County

Camron Michelle Dawn Wallace, 2, died after being shot in the chest by her 6-year-old stepbrother.
Camron Michelle Dawn Wallace, 2, died after being shot in the chest by her 6-year-old stepbrother.
Photo by Patrick Smith /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
  • photo
    Samantha Wallace is charged with criminally negligent homicide in the shooting death of her 2-year-old daughter.
    Courtesy Hamilton County Sheriff's Office

  • photo
    Thomas Wallace is charged with criminally negligent homicide in the shooting death of his 2-year-old daughter.
    Courtesy Hamilton County Sheriff's Office

Prosecutors have asked that parents charged in the 2010 death of their 2-year-old daughter be put back in jail.

Assistant District Attorney Charlie Minor has filed documents asking the bonds be revoked for Thomas and Samantha Wallace on charges of criminally negligent homicide.

Camron Wallace was shot to death in July 2010 by her 5-year-old stepbrother, who found a loaded .45-caliber pistol on Thomas Wallace's night stand.

Minor filed documents noting that both parents are facing charges not connected to Camron's death.

He also wrote that Thomas Wallace "chose to be irresponsible in his gun ownership" and failed to teach responsible gun safety "purchasing the four year-old a pink .22 caliber handgun with a cricket on it and the five year-old a blue .22 caliber handgun with a chipmunk on it. This taught the children to associate real guns with toys."

The pair are scheduled for a hearing before Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern on Friday.

Minor said he could not comment on the case.

Neither Assistant Public Defender Steve Brown, Thomas Wallace's attorney, nor the family could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Thomas Wallace asked for pretrial diversion, which allows first-time offenders to avoid a trial and permanent criminal charges. But since filing for diversion, he has been charged with assault in relation to a March 19 incident and with felony theft and vandalism in connection to an incident on April 11, records show.

Minor noted in his filing that Thomas Wallace has not added these incidents to his diversion request. Minor said he cannot support pretrial diversion.

"[Thomas Wallace] lacks a stable support structure as his closest family members have numerous arrest and criminal convictions," Minor wrote.

Samantha Wallace has pending charges in Marion County for drug possession, vandalism and theft. Her criminal history also includes assault counts in 2004 and 2009 in Sequatchie County and in 2005 in Marion County, Minor noted in his court filings.

Minor included a record showing that, when asked for his recitation of the facts in his daughter's death, Thomas Wallace wrote that "someone tried to break into my house and I had put my gun in my night stand for protection and the kids must have gotten in my droor [sic] and found it covered up. for more info check reports."

Minor wrote that "It is a direct result of he and his wife's negligent and criminal conduct that his two year-old daughter was killed and that his surviving stepchildren will live and struggle with this for the remainder of their lives."

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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VictoriaSA said...

The sad thing about this story is how the 5 year old step brother will grow up. Will he be traumatized by his accidental killing of his sister, or will he go down the path like his parents because of the poor example they made of themselves.

Simon - http://www.starrausten.com

May 23, 2012 at 4:58 a.m.
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