Parents cleared in child's death

Sunday, June 19, 2005

JOPLIN, Mo. -- An Alba couple whose 8-year-old foster child was fatally shot by their teenage son in a game of cops and robbers will not face any charges.

Jasper County Prosecutor Dean Dankelson said Friday there was no evidence that Mark and Treva Gordon had knowingly endangered their foster child's welfare.

"It would be difficult, if not impossible, to hold the adult intentionally responsible for an act that the Jasper County coroner has ruled to be an accident" Dankelson said.

"The Jasper County prosecutor's office considers this case to be closed."

The Gordons' 14-year-old son is charged with involuntary manslaughter and has been committed to the custody of state juvenile authorities.

According to a juvenile officer's report, Braxton and the 14-year-old were home alone June 2 and decided to play cops and robbers, using two guns from the house.

The teen ordered Braxton to drop his weapon and put up his hands, the report said, and the older boy placed the barrel of a .38-caliber gun against Braxton's head and pulled the trigger. The shot killed Braxton.

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