Babysitter arrested in child's death was intoxicated day of acci - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Babysitter arrested in child's death was intoxicated day of accidental shooting, Affidavit says

(Photo: Orange County Sheriff's Office) (Photo: Orange County Sheriff's Office)

The babysitter arrested after a 5-year-old accidentally shot himself with a gun that investigators say she left within his reach, was intoxicated on marijuana the day of the shooting according to a probable cause affidavit.

Melissa Ann Ringhardt, 19, of Vidor, is held on a $250,000 bond in the Orange County Jail on a felony charge of abandoning or endangering a child.

Ringhardt was living with the family of five-year-old John Allen Read. Investigators say she left a semiautomatic .40-caliber handgun on a coffee table Monday when she went into a bedroom to take a nap.

When she woke up, she didn't see Read and began looking for him. She found him in the living room, dead from a gunshot wound.

Ringhardt was also caring for the family's 6-month-old child who was not injured in the incident.

Ringhardt could face a sentence of six months to two years if convicted.

No additional charges have been filed as of 4 p.m. Friday, but the investigation is ongoing.

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