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Mom pleads guilty to child endangerment in shooting death of toddler

Donna Crump-Piedra's 2-year-old shot himself with gun left on table

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A mother was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to charges arising from her 2-year-old son's accidental shooting death in February.

Donna Crump-Piedra was charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child and culpable negligence involving a firearm after Jacksonville police said her son, Jayden Piedra, got hold of a gun and shot himself in February. 

According to the police report, Jayden and a 7-year-old sibling began playing with the gun while Crump-Piedra and her boyfriend, Lephabion Griggs, were sleeping on a couch nearby. The older child told officers that the boy shot himself. 

Crump-Piedra agreed to plead guilty to a reduced charge of child negligence and was sentenced to seven years in prison. She was given credit for the 218 days she has already served. The prison sentence will be followed by three years of probation.

Crump-Piedra was visibly emotional during the hearing, with tears rolling down her face as she stood with her attorney, Robert Pelletier.

When Circuit Judge Lester Bass asked her if she was entering guilty pleas because she was guilty, Crump-Piedra said, "Yes, sir."

Jayden’s biological father, James Jackson, said he forgives Crump-Piedra for what happened to their son and told Bass he believes the sentence is too harsh.

“That’s a long time, you know, knowing that she is a great mother," Jackson said. "I know that things happen. She made a mistake. That’s just a long time. I just couldn’t sit back and not say anything."

Jacksonville police said the gun, which belonged to Griggs, was left on a table at an apartment on Jammes Road where she and her two children were staying.

Griggs is awaiting trial on a manslaughter charge.

Jayden James Piedra shot and killed at Westside apartment

About the Authors:

Allyson Henning

Florida-born multi-media journalist pays special attention to issues in St. Johns County.