Couple reach plea deal in NC toddler shooting case

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A couple charged in the accidental fatal shooting of a Henderson County toddler in October have pleaded guilty to lesser charges and will not have to spend any time behind bars.

RELATED: NC babysitter now charged in shooting death of 2-year-old girl

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CLICK TO VIEW PHOTOS OF THOSE CHARGED AND OF ABIGAIL

Media outlets report that 29-year-old Heather Ann Bradburn Stepp and 31-year-old James Fuller Stepp each received a sentence of one year of unsupervised probation after pleading guilty Tuesday in Henderson County District Court to misdemeanor negligent storage of a firearm. Each was also ordered to pay a $200 fine.

Authorities say Heather Stepp was babysitting 2-year-old Abagail Newman when the toddler was fatally shot by a loaded shotgun that was on a table. James Stepp wasn’t home at the time.

The two had initially been charged with involuntary manslaughter, a felony that could have carried a sentence of up to 16 months in prison.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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