COATESVILLE, Pa. (TCD) — An 18-year-old male was recently sentenced to home confinement after his 4-year-old brother died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Last year, on Feb. 28, 2022, Victor Lara-Ortiz left the loaded, unsecured gun on a bedroom table with the door open, according to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office. His younger brother reportedly found the gun and shot himself while Lara-Ortiz wasn’t home.
The District Attorney’s Office said Lara-Ortiz illegally purchased the gun with the help of a male co-defendant, identified as William Thomas by WGAL-TV.
When Thomas bought the gun at Trop Gun Shop, he reportedly lied and said he didn’t have a criminal record.
In November, Lara-Ortiz pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of children, and gun offenses in connection with the death of his younger brother, Roman Aguilera-Ortiz, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Lara-Ortiz reportedly took “full responsibility” and said, “I am aware and saddened by the fact that I put my mother and family through so much pain. My careless actions got the best of me.”
On Wednesday, Feb. 15, the District Attorney’s Office announced Lara-Ortiz was sentenced to six to 23 months to be served on Electric Home Monitoring, followed by five years of probation.
Lara-Ortiz was reportedly expelled from high school at the time of the incident, but “since his brother’s death, community members came together to support him, and he re-enrolled in school, earning good grades and participating in activities with a goal of attending college.”
In a statement, District Attorney Deb Ryan said, “The defendant’s criminal actions had devastating and irrevocable consequences, and it cost the life of an innocent child. The defendant was not eligible to own a firearm and now a family and a community have been shattered.”
Ryan continued, “We must be vigilant with the responsibility that comes with gun safety ownership, and keep illegal guns off the streets.”
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the co-defendant, 32-year-old Thomas, faces charges of illegally transferring a firearm and making unsworn false statements. His case is pending.
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