NEW ORLEANS, LA — A New Orleans mother will now face Second-Degree Murder charges for the death of her 5-year-old child.
Laderika Smith, 28, was originally charged with Cruelty to a Juvenile after her daughter accidentally shot herself in the head. Investigators say she knowingly left the child alone in the home with the loaded gun. Through negligence, that created the opportunity for the fatal accident to occur.
An autopsy was conducted on Monday, June 24. Investigators upgraded the charge following those results. It concluded that the child did die directly from the gunshot wound.
Smith allegedly left the child locked in the home on Sunday, June 23 so she could go to a nearby store. When she returned a short time later, she found her daughter in the bedroom of the home, suffering from the head wound.
Smith was booked into the Orleans Parish Prison.