Homeowner charged in death of boy, 6, killed with gun left in toy box

A Henderson homeowner faces a felony child abuse charge after an 11-year-old boy shot and killed his 6-year-old nephew with a gun that had been left in a toy box.

Prosecutors charged Sidney J. Jacobs, 37, with one count of child abuse and neglect with substantial bodily harm in the Sept. 25 death of Robert Martin IV.

Jacobs turned himself in to Henderson police Friday, two days after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was booked into jail and released after posting $10,000 bail.

Robert died after being shot in the chest at Jacobs' house, at 586 Lairmont Place, in the MacDonald Ranch community near Horizon Ridge Parkway and Stephanie Street.

The boy was visiting the house with his mother, Cristin Wacaser, 25, and her 11-year-old brother.

Wacaser, Jacobs and his girlfriend were in an upstairs bedroom drinking vodka and listening to music while the two boys played downstairs in a room filled with toys.

The 11-year-old told police he found the 9 mm handgun in a cardboard box labeled "treasure chest" and thought it was a toy. He pointed it at his nephew and pulled the trigger, expecting confetti to shoot from the barrel, according to the report.

Instead, he saw Robert fall backward to the floor.

At first, the 11-year-old thought his nephew was faking, but when the boy didn't get up after 15 seconds, the older boy realized what had happened and ran for help, according to the report.

Paramedics took Robert to St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Siena campus, where he died.

The 11-year-old asked police, "Who would put a real gun in a toy box unless they were cuckoo?" according to the report.

One of the officers at the scene heard a visibly upset Jacobs say, "This is not going to be good for me," the report said.

Jacobs was going through a divorce and custody battle with his wife and had created the playroom in hopes he would have his son for an upcoming birthday.

He remembered putting the H&K pistol in a box but couldn't remember which one, he told police. He also said his roommates had been moving furniture and boxes around, according to the report.

During a search of the house, police found a marijuana-growing operation, three more handguns and a rifle, the report said.

Contact reporter Brian Haynes at bhaynes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0281.