Mother charged in son's shooting death makes 1st appearance

Jul. 14, 2014 @ 12:42 PM

A mother charged with manslaughter after her 9-year-old son was shot accidentally by his 12-year-old brother made her first appearance in court today and got approval for an attorney.

Amy Suzanne Pittman, 36, appeared in Durham County Superior Court and asked Judge Michael O'Foghludha to appoint a lawyer. After she filled out paperwork, the judge agreed that she'll get a public defender.

Bond was not discussed at Monday's hearing. Pittman remains in the Durham County Jail under bonds totaling $150,000.

Pittman is charged with voluntary manslaughter, negligent child abuse, three counts of misdemeanor child abuse and failing to store firearms to protect minors.

Her next court date is set for the week of Aug. 4 in Superior Court.

According to police, Christian Pittman was killed April 28 by his brother while they were playing with a gun at their Macon Street home. Officers were told of the shooting after the 12-year-old, who was injured but not shot, contacted emergency operators.

"I don't know if he's dead," he said through tears after dialing 911 from a nearby house. "He's bleeding really bad. He's been shot. I don't know if he's breathing."

Christian was pronounced dead when emergency personnel arrived. Police said his mother was not home at the time.

Detectives determined that the shooting was an accident, but a Durham County grand jury indicted the mother earlier this month.