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A 16-year-old Roxbury (Mass.) boy whose baby brother died playing with his illegal gun was ordered locked away on $250,000 cash bail 10 times more than prosecutors had sought.
Jayquan McConnico pleaded not guilty in Boston Juvenile Court before Judge Paul Lewis to grand jury indictments of involuntary manslaughter, improper storage of a firearm and misleading a police officer.
McConnico's half-brother Liquarry Jefferson, 8, was shot and killed by a 7-year-old cousin on June 24 after the boys found McConnico's loaded 9 mm semi-automatic in the older sibling's bedroom dresser.
Lakeisha Gadson, 31, the brothers' mother, pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court and was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail.
Prosecutors allege Gadson not only knew McConnico had a gun in their Seaver Street apartment, but approved of it.
McConnico allegedly called 911 once Liquarry was wounded, but "falsely told the dispatcher that someone had shot his younger brother through a window in the apartment,'' according to court documents.
Liquarry, with his dying breath to rescue workers, "told people that his cousin had shot him,'' court papers state.
McConnico allegedly changed his story, telling police a lone black gunman burst into their home in a hooded sweatshirt, went to the bedroom and shot Liquarry. Under questioning by detectives, McConnico conceded he had initially lied to investigators, according to prosecutors.
Gadson later tried to cover for her teenage son, claiming he was "protecting'' her by saying the gun was his and not hers. According to court records, Gadson told the state Department of Social Services she had obtained the gun for "protection.''