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Baby Sitter Gets Probation After Child Shot Self

Thursday, Feb 27, 2014  |  Updated 7:08 AM CDT
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Baby Sitter Gets Probation After Child Shot Self

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A Southeast Texas woman has been sentenced to four years of probation after a 5-year-old she was baby-sitting died after shooting himself with her handgun.

The Beaumont Enterprise reports that 19-year-old Melissa Ringhardt was sentenced on Wednesday. She had pleaded guilty to endangering a child, a state jail felony.

In October, she was watching 5-year-old John Read and a 6-month-old child at their parents' home in Vidor, about 90 miles east of Houston. Orange County sheriff's office authorities have said she apparently left the handgun on a living room table before going to take a nap. When she awoke, she found Read's body with a bullet wound in the head.

She later told authorities she was high on marijuana the day of the shooting.

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