DA still probing gun case

Decision of possible charges regarding preschool incident weeks away

District Attorney Bonnie Roesink said Tuesday a decision on possible criminal charges could take another two weeks in the case of a preschooler who allegedly brought his father's handgun to class.

Roesink said that decision would be hers. Deputy District Attorney David Waite initially handled the case.

"We want to be sure we have all the facts before making a decision on any case," Roesink said regarding specific information her office was seeking beyond the sheriff investigators' initial report.

A District Attorney's office investigator continues to interview potential witnesses in the case, she said.

The incident occurred April 4, while Waite had said the investigators' report reached his desk April 8.

K.C. Hume, chief Moffat County Sheriff's investigator, said his office is in the process of responding to new questions about the incident from the District Attorney's office. Hume declined to comment on those outstanding issues.

The incident involved a five-year-old boy who was at the Moffat County Early Childhood Coalition's Yampa Avenue building shortly before classes started at 9 a.m. April 4. The boy told a peer he had brought a handgun to school that morning. The peer then told a teacher. Preschool director Sarah Hepworth found a loaded .357 Ruger handgun in the boy's backpack.

Sheriff's investigators said the boy found the weapon underneath the seat of his father's truck. The man had left it there after target practice shooting the weekend before the incident.

The boy was sent home with his parents and returned to class the next school day, which was April 8.

Hume has said the boy acted with no "malicious intent." Children under 10 years old cannot be charged under Colorado statutes.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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