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November 28, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Marysville officer won’t face second trial in daughter’s death

Marysville police Officer Derek Carlile hugs his wife, Forrest Carlile, after a mistrial was declared in Snohomish County Court on Nov. 13. (Seattle Times photo)

Marysville police Officer Derek Carlile will not face a second trial in the death of his 7-year-old daughter earlier this year, the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office announced this morning.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Joan Cavagnaro said her office will file a motion today to have the charge of second-degree manslaughter dismissed against Carlile. In seeking the dismissal, prosecutors plan to indicate they do not believe a second jury will be able to reach a unanimous verdict following another trial.

Carlile’s attorney, David Allen, said he was “very thankful” about the decision.

“They could try it 20 times and not do any better than a hung jury,” Allen said.

Earlier this month, a mistrial was declared after jurors were deadlocked in Carlile’s trial in Snohomish County Superior Court. The jury was split 7-4 in favor of acquittal, with one undecided, after hearing how the officer’s 3-year-old son fatally shot his older sister Jenna with Carlile’s handgun in the family’s van.

Carlile was in a rush to get to a wedding when he and his family stopped off at a friend’s shop in Stanwood on March 10, according to testimony. Carlile left a loaded .38-caliber revolver in a cup holder between the front seats of the family’s parked van as he and his wife stepped away, leaving their four children alone inside.

Carlile’s son, Steele, got out of his booster seat, grabbed the gun and shot his sister in the abdomen. She died at a Seattle hospital.

In filing criminal charges against Carlile, prosecutors said he was aware that his son was fascinated with firearms but nevertheless “failed to heed or be aware of a substantial risk that death would occur when he placed and left his loaded, unsecured revolver in an enclosed van with four children inside.”

But Allen told jurors that Carlile was a conscientious father who unfailingly locked his firearms in a safe at home. Carlile’s failure to secure the revolver in the van was “no more than a momentary lapse of judgment,” and not a criminal act, Allen said

“All of us make mistakes,” Allen said.

Carlile remains on paid administrative leave from the Marysville Police Department, according to Marysville police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux. He now faces an internal investigation.

0 Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: accidental shooting, Marysville Police Department, Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office

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