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Arrest reports provide more details about death of 3-year-old

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Kayla Shelynn Carter, 34, and Ledrick Lataurus Ferguson, 48, were arrested today and charged with manslaughter of a child under 18, three charges of child neglect, and unsafe storage of a firearm that allows access by a minor. Ferguson, a convicted felon, was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to the arrest reports, Carter and Ferguson went to the store on August 24, leaving their three children, ages 8, 6, and 3, in the care of a disabled adult who is reportedly in a wheelchair and has “diminished mental capacity.” Carter reportedly told a Gainesville Police Department officer that she is employed as a companion and home healthcare worker for that person.

While the two parents were out, the 6-year-old was reportedly playing with the 3-year-old when the 3-year-old went to get two guns from the living room. One of the guns was reportedly loaded with two rounds of ammunition; the guns were reportedly in an unlocked gun case that was in the center console of the couch.

The 3-year-old reportedly brought the guns to where he had been playing with the 6-year-old, and the 6-year-old yelled at him and tried to take the loaded gun from him. The gun went off, killing the 3-year-old.

The two surviving children were forensically interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center, and each reportedly said that they saw Ferguson put the guns in the center console of the couch and that he regularly stores them there or on top of the refrigerator. The children reportedly said that the person who was supposed to be watching them did not notice any of this because he was watching TV.

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Carter reportedly told officers that she had no idea that Ferguson had guns in the house, but a witness who had been in the house earlier in the day reportedly told officers that Ferguson had handled the firearms while Carter and the 3-year-old were in the room and that Ferguson had placed the guns in the center console of the sofa in plain view of Carter and the 3-year-old. The witness reportedly said that Carter had been talking about the guns and why she needed them for protection.

Post Miranda, Carter admitted knowing the guns were in the home but denied seeing Ferguson place them in the center console of the sofa. However, she reportedly admitted that Ferguson had shown her and the witness the guns in the living room. She reportedly said she is paid to care for the disabled adult but said when she is “off the clock,” she regularly leaves the children in his care.

Post Miranda, Ferguson reportedly said that as a convicted felon, he knew he should not have guns but that he did not remember leaving the guns in an unlocked case. He reportedly said he keeps the guns for personal protection, that he left them in the couch by mistake, and that the children did not know they were there. He reportedly said the 8-year-old and 6-year-old were responsible for watching the 3-year-old and that he and Carter regularly leave the children in the care of the disabled adult; he acknowledged that the disabled adult is not capable of properly supervising and caring for the children.

Bond amounts for Carter and Ferguson have not been set.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • Just my opinion but I’m of the thought that these two shouldn’t be permitted to procreate at any point within the near future.

    If I remember correctly, Mr. Ferguson was a multiple charged and convicted felon as well. In hindsight, if his convictions were greater than 8 years ago, maybe he shouldn’t have procreated in the first place.

  • I was listening to the communication between the em on the way to the hospital the bullet in the back of the head and went out the front How could a 3-year-old shoot himself in the head

  • Very sad. —It’s sounds like the guns were Ferguson’s, a convicted felon.
    He is not supposed to have guns, period! He is responsible for the accident 1. Because the guns were his. 2. He was a felon and not allowed to have a gun. & 3. He did not properly store HIS guns which allowed access to a minor. They should let the mother go.

  • Heaven Father I thank you for a humbling spirit and a sober mind. Your ways are just and your judgements are truth let the saints say amen. First I would like to say for some this is a sad situation and this is true right? Well let’s explore the meaning of sad, being cast down and never able to rise, being thirsty and never having nothing to drink being lonely and never finding comfort, being outkast and never finding unity. So here’s my question to you where is the sadness when God himself has hand-picked this beautiful child. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Before this tragic incident were any of you sad? If not you should have been and here’s why we live in this Gainesville community with no help no hope no assistance and no love no guidance no concern and this doesn’t sadden you and no I’m not jumping topics I’m speaking about the whole issue. What about all the senseless killings all the unsolved murders our black youth turning against each other, home invasions robberies and etc. Spending a million dollars to replace the old tackle box with flowers and concrete when we needed the southeast boys club saved when we needed Job corps to have funding when we needed trade schools. When our fathers and mothers needed help to raise their children the right way. No one wanted to listen but when God made the decision to start calling his children home now we want to find someone to blame and something wrong. Are you still sad? Before You cast judgment ask yourself what have I done to uplift someone what have I gave to help where did I lift up my voice to be apart of the solution. Here’s one final question why do we keep putting our trust in man God is our provider God is our way maker he said in his word if we return to him he will heal our land. So I strongly suggest to all of the saints before You cast judgment let’s pray for these parents pray that God will heal their weaknesses their infirmities and that they find forgiveness in his sight. Remember the same measuring line you measure should be measured against you. So before you judge make sure your house is clean make sure your kids are doing what God wants make sure you have help someone that is unfortunate. The meek shall inherit the earth but only the pure and heart shall see God. May our heavenly father in the name of Christ Jesus have mercy on us all

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