Prosecutors announced charges of manslaughter and child abuse Thursday against a Chowchilla prison correctional officer whose 1-year-old son was fatally shot by his 3-year-old sister.
Erica Bautista, a 16-year veteran correctional officer, also is alleged to have “willingly and unlawfully” kept a loaded firearm where she knew or “should have known that a child was likely to gain access to the firearm,” Madera County District Attorney David Linn said in a news release.
Bautista’s son, David, was shot Jan. 11 at a home in the 200 block of Alameda Avenue and died en route to the hospital, Chowchilla police have said.
Investigators determined the fatal shot was fired by the boy’s sister, who also is listed as a victim in the criminal complaint.
“All the charges are felonies,” Linn said. If convicted, Bautista faces more than 10 years in prison.
The charges against Bautista include a felony count of manslaughter and two felony counts of child abuse, one involving each child, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office.
Bautista works at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla.
She is scheduled for arraignment March 2 in Madera Superior Court.