Officer weeps as trial begins in accidental shooting death of daughter

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EVERETT, Wash. —

A Marysville police officer charged with manslaughter after his 7-year-old daughter was accidentally shot by her younger brother cried uncontrollably during opening statements in the case Thursday in Everett.

 

Derek Carlile, 31, held his face in his hands, weeping, as prosecutors told the jury about the day in March when he left his four kids in the car when the family stopped by the Stanwood art studio where his wife worked.

 

"He brought a loaded, unsecured revolver into a van with his wife and four children," the prosecutor said.

 

Carlile locked the doors while he and his wife were outside talking to a friend.  They heard a thud. Their 5-year-old daughter got out and said her 3-year-old brother had a gun.

 

Photos showed blood on the back seat where 7-year-old Jenna Carlile had been shot in the stomach.

 

"He ran in and was telling Jenna to hang in there," an officer said.

 

Officers first at the scene testified Carlile was frantically performing CPR on Jenna.  She died at a hospital a day later.

 

"He made statements like, you know, it was all his fault, what kind of a dad was he, that type of thing," another officer said.

 

Prosecutors said the little boy, who was used to playing with toy guns, saw Carlile's loaded .38-caliber service revolver lying in a cubby hole. They said the gun could have been put in a lockable side door storage box and that the gun's safety lock was not engaged.

 

Carlile's attorney said the officer meant to put the off-duty weapon on his ankle, but simply got distracted and never meant to leave his children in danger.

 

"Derek will tell you it totally slipped his mind that the firearm was there," teh defense attorney said.

 

The defense said the shooting was a tragedy with little precedence and will try to prove the manslaughter law doesn't cover such an accident.  Carlile's defense tried to get the case dismissed, but was not successful.

 

Carlile is on paid leave from the Marysville Police Department until the case is resolved.

 

If convicted, Carlile could be sentenced to up to two years in prison.