A Las Vegas police officer and his wife pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor on Thursday, three months after their 2-year-old son shot himself with a handgun in their Overton home.
Jared and Shawnee Bledsoe, both 27, stood in District Court with their arms interlocked as they each entered an Alford plea for one count of use or possession of a firearm by a child under the age of 18. The Alford plea means the Bledsoes didn't admit guilt but acknowledged that prosecutors could prove their case against them.
They were sentenced to perform 50 hours of community service, take a gun safety class and stay out of trouble for a year.
The Bledsoes in April were indicted by a Clark County grand jury for one count of felony child abuse and neglect resulting in substantial bodily harm after the Feb. 6 incident.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Lisa Luzaich said the decision to negotiate a plea deal was not influenced by Jared Bledsoe being a police officer.
Police have said the couple's son, Jared Benjamin Bledsoe, was put to bed in his parents' bedroom when he discovered his father's service weapon, a .45-caliber Wilson 1911, in a nightstand. The gun discharged, striking the child in the arm and abdomen, police said. The boy survived his injuries.
According to court documents, the Bledsoes told investigators that they put their son to sleep in their master bedroom while they played cards with friends in the kitchen.
About half an hour after putting the boy to bed, they heard a gunshot in the master bedroom. When they ran to the bedroom, they found their wounded son on his back. The nightstand drawer was open.
State law requires parents to store firearms securely.
Jared Bledsoe told detectives that he knocked the gun off his son's chest and began applying pressure to the boy's abdomen. The bullet went into the boy's abdomen, through his small bowel, liver, transverse colon, diaphragm, lung and arm.
The couple also have a 4-year-old son.
Jared Bledsoe is still under investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department's internal affairs office. He was relieved of duty without pay after the incident.
The charge could cost Jared Bledsoe his job, Las Vegas police officials have said. He was with the department for less than a year and was still on a probationary period.