Las Vegas Sun

April 21, 2019

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5 accused of failing to secure guns after boy shoots self

Updated Wednesday, April 10, 2019 | 1:19 p.m.

Five adult members of a Las Vegas-area family are facing felony charges accusing them of endangering a 3-year-old boy who was injured when he shot himself in the head with a handgun he found in his mother's purse last November, authorities said Wednesday.

The boy was in the house on Monday when police arrested his mother, father, two grandparents and uncle, North Las Vegas police Officer Eric Leavitt said.

The mother, Liza Haut, 29, father, Richard Haut, 28, grandparents Marvin and Rackell Haut, and uncle Joshua Haut were each later released on bail pending court appearances April 18.

Calls on Wednesday to telephone numbers possibly associated with the family did not connect. It was not clear if they had attorneys.

"This is all about gun ownership and responsibility," Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said of the decision to prosecute all five adults in the North Las Vegas home. "It's about making sure your guns are not accessible by children. It doesn't matter what age."

The prosecutor noted the boy's older sister and brother also lived in the house where police found 17 guns including hunting rifles, shotguns and handguns after the Nov. 10 shooting.

Seven weapons were loaded, and most were in places a child could reach, Leavitt said.

"If it was just the one gun in the mother's purse, we would not be charging the other adults," Wolfson said. "But there were 16 other guns."

Liza Haut faces three charges including child abuse, neglect or endangerment resulting in substantial bodily harm, which carries a possible penalty of up to 20 years in state prison.

Richard Haut, Marvin and Rackell Haut, both age 49, and Joshua Haut, 24, each face child endangerment counts carrying a possible sentence of up to six years in prison.

The boy found the pistol in his mother's purse on the kitchen counter, according to a police report filed in North Las Vegas Justice Court.

Liza Haut told police she was in another room when she heard a gunshot and found her son on the floor.

Joshua Haut was asleep in an upstairs room, and the other adults were not home at the time, the report said.