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Neglect, drug charges filed against parents of 16-month-old boy fatally shot by brother

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LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Prosecutors have filed neglect and drug charges against the parents of a 16-month-old boy fatally shot by his 5-year-old brother after the older child found a handgun in their apartment.

The charges against Deonta Jermaine Johnson, 27, and Shatia Tiara Welch, 24, of Lafayette were unsealed Tuesday following their arrests the day before in LaPorte, news outlets reported.

The shooting of Isiah Johnson occurred March 28 at the Romney Meadows apartments in Lafayette, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) north of Indianapolis.

Isiah, who died from a gunshot wound to his head, had marijuana in his blood, and his brother tested positive for cocaine, prosecutors said.

Deonta Johnson was asleep inside the apartment at the time of the shooting, authorities have said. Welch wasn’t present.

After the shooting, police found 93 fentanyl pills, marijuana and paraphernalia inside the apartment, prosecutors said.

Welch told police she owns the gun, but she usually kept it locked in a box under her bed.

Johnson also faces a charge of obstruction of justice for removing marijuana from the apartment before police arrived after the shooting, prosecutors said.

Online court records did not list attorneys for Johnson and Welch who might comment on the allegations against them.

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