As Hennepin County authorities consider whether to bring charges against a Minneapolis father whose 4-year-old son accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old brother, a Minnesota Public Radio News analysis shows such prosecutions are rare but not unprecedented.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman tells MPR that such decisions are among the toughest prosecutors face. He says the parents are usually experiencing terrible anguish.
Since 2001, about 85 people in the state have been convicted of one of two potential charges in this kind of case. Both types of charges apply to adults who leave unsecured, loaded firearms within reach of a child.
About a third of those convictions were in Hennepin County.