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Marysville officer charged in daughter’s death

Derek Carlile’s 7-year-old daughter was accidentally killed by his 3-year-old son with the police officer’s gun March 10.

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carlile11MARYSVILLE — An independent arbitrator has ordered the Marysville Police Department to rehire a former police officer who lost his job after his 7-year-old daughter was shot and killed by his 3-year-old son in his car, the Everett Herald reports.

According to the Herald, Derek Carlile should get his job back sometime soon. The city of Marysville was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

Carlile was fired in 2013 following a criminal trial and investigation into his son’s death. Carlile was initially charged with manslaughter after his daughter Jenna was shot dead by her 3-year-old brother after their father allegedly left a handgun unsecured in the family van in March 2012.

A jury was unable to reach a verdict, and Snohomish County prosecutors eventually dropped the case.

The former Marysville policeman has worked outside of law enforcement since his firing, the Herald reported.

carlile11MARYSVILLE, Wash. — A police officer whose unattended 3-year-old son found a handgun and fatally shot the man’s daughter challenged his termination from the Marysville Police Department recently, the Everett Herald reported.

Derek Carlile and the Marysville Police Officers Association — a non-profit organization made up of police department members — filed a joint grievance protesting his firing. The police department determined in May that Carlile’s employment with the city should be terminated following the results of an internal investigation that found Carlile responsible for committing a negligent act, endangering others and not promoting a positive image as a police officer.

After the ruling Carlile was offered a position as a code enforcement officer but he declined, the Herald reported, saying he loved being a police officer and couldn’t do anything else.

Carlile was initially charged with manslaughter after his daughter Jenna was shot dead by her 3-year-old brother after their father allegedly left a handgun unsecured in the family van in March 2012. However, criminal charges against Carlile were dropped following a mistrial of his case in November.

According to the Herald, an arbitration hearing is set in October to determine if Carlile could get his job back. Marysville City Administrator Gloria Hirashima told the Herald the city will stick by the arbitrator’s decision.

“The arbitrator makes a ruling and we will abide by that ruling,” she said.

Local News
05/06/13

Marysville officer fired following child shooting probe

MARYSVILLE, Wash. — A Marysville police officer whose 3-year-old son found a handgun and fatally shot the man’s daughter was fired Monday from the Marysville Police Department following an internal affairs investigation.

carlile1The police department said Derek Carlile’s employment with the city was immediately terminated following an investigation.

Carlile was initially charged with manslaughter after his daughter Jenna was shot dead by her 3-year-old brother after their father allegedly left a handgun unsecured in the family van in March 2012. However, criminal charges against Carlile were dropped following a mistrial of his case in November.

A short comment from the city was released Monday:

“As a result of the findings of a Police Department internal affairs investigation, Derek Carlile’s employment with the City of Marysville has been terminated, effective immediately,” a note read. “Because the nature of this release regards a personnel matter, no further comment by the City of Marysville will be made.”

Local News
11/28/12

Marysville officer won’t face charges in daughter’s death

MARYSVILLE — Manslaughter charges were dismissed Wednesday against Marysville police officer Derek Carlile in connection with the accidental shooting death of his 7-year-old daughter in March.

Carlile’s initial manslaughter trial ended in a mistrial with a hung jury two weeks ago. A retrial date was set for Jan. 29.

But the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the charges Wednesday.

Prosecutor Mark Roe said, “The case and the facts were taken to the community and the community is divided over whether it was a crime or not. The decision is mine and (in) my opinion, we could try this case 100 times, and we would end up with a jury split somewhere near the middle all 100 times.”

Roe said some on the first jury and many in the community felt Carlile and his family had suffered enough with the loss of their child. “This an unusual case because the punishment came before the trial,” Roe said.

“This has been a terrible burden for the family to have to go through and they’re just very pleased that it’s over with,” said Carlile’s lawyer, David Allen.

Carlile was initially charged with manslaughter after his daughter Jenna was shot dead by her 3-year-old brother after their father allegedly left a handgun unsecured in the family van in March.

“I think the (original) jurors who (ended in a hung jury) were on our side … all these jurors for the most part were parents who understood that there but for fortune go we,” Allen said. “Because parents do make mistakes, and that still doesn’t make it a crime.”

Carlile’s status with the Marysville Police Department is unchanged and he remains on administrative leave, pending an internal administrative review.

EVERETT — The judge in the trial of Marysville police officer Derek Carlile, charged with manslaughter for the accidental death of his daughter, declared a mistrial Tuesday after a hung jury was unable to reach a verdict in the case.

A retrial date is set for Jan. 29.

Carlile is charged in the accidental death of his 7-year-old daughter, Jenna. She was shot by her 3-year-old brother, after their father allegedly left his handgun unsecured in the family van.

When the judge announced a mistrial Tuesday, the prosecution immediately asked for a new trial, prompting an emotional reaction from Carlile’s family.

The defense said seven of the 12 jurors revealed they had sided with Carlile, believing that his daughter’s death was not a crime but a tragedy.

“This is something we don’t need lessons learned from; this is a parent’s worst nightmare, this was an abberation because Derek was so careful in terms of storing his firearm at home,” said defense attorney David Allen.

The Marysville police officer and his wife broke down as the defense attorney spoke about the death of their 7 year-old daughter.

“He said he immediately ran to the van and saw his daughter who had been sitting in the middle seat of the van slumped over with a blank stare on her face,” Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy Brian Odenborg said of Carlile.

Last week, jurors heard from first responders about the day Carlile’s daughter was accidentally shot by her 3-year-old brother.

The prosecution blamed Carlile for leaving his children in a van alone with an unsecured handgun, knowing that his son was fascinated with guns.

On Tuesday, the prosecution said it was not surprised with the outcome.

“Sometimes things can be done differently in a second trial or sometimes it appears nothing will change by going forward,” said Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman Joan Cavagnaro.

“It would be terrible for them to go through it again, not only will it be a waste of time, effort and resources for the state ,but the emotional upheaval would be cruel and unusual,” said Allen.

Throughout the intense trial, jurors saw a father in agony and a courtroom packed with Carlile’s supporters.

“It’s a community grief because of the death of the Carlile daughter; they want to do everything in their power to show that they support them,” said Allen

Carlile did not take the stand in his own defense.  Unless the prosecution decides to drop the case, the new trial will start on Jan. 29.

 

EVERETT — The trial of Marysville police officer Derek Carlile, charged with manslaughter for the accidental death of his daughter, went to the jury Friday without the defendant taking the stand.

The eight-man, four-woman jury did not come up with a verdict after four hours of deliberation. The judge has asked them to come back and try again on Tuesday beginning at 9 a.m.

Carlile is charged in the accidental death of his 7-year-old daughter, Jenna. She was shot by her 3-year-old brother, after their father allegedly left his handgun unsecured in the family van.

Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies that investigated the shooting took the stand Thursday, the first day of the trial.

“He said as they were talking, he heard a pop and that his (other) daughter exited the van saying something what he believes were the words gun and Steele,” Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy Brian Odenborg said.

What happened next changed Carlile’s family forever.

“He said he immediately ran to the van and saw his daughter, who had been sitting in the middle seat of the van, slumped over with a blank stare on her face,” Odenborg said from the witness stand.

Carlile sobbed as he listened to the testimony about that horrible night.

It was March 10 in Stanwood.

Carlile and his wife got out of the family van for only a moment at a local gallery.

They heard the gunshot and found their daughter shot in the stomach; she later died.

Testimony on opening day of the trial focused on how Carlile did or did not secure his .38 caliber revolver inside his van.

Jurors also got their first look at the weapon and where it was found in the van.

Prosecutors say Carlile left the gun in a cup holder between the two front seats unsecured, even though he knew his 3-year-old son had a fascination with handguns.

He climbed out of his booster seat, grabbed the gun and accidently shot his sister.

Prosecutors questioned investigators who first questioned Carlile.

One said Carlile said the shooting was his fault.

“You know, he, as a sounding board or when I was there, he made statements like, you know, it was all his fault. What kind of dad was he, that type of thing,” Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy David Chitwood said.

Prosecutors say Carlile made a number of unsafe choices in how he handled his gun that night that put his children at risk, but Carlile’s attorney countered, “This was a terrible, tragic accident but it wasn’t a crime.

EVERETT — Derek Carlile, a Marysville police officer, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a second-degree manslaughter charge in the accidental shooting of his 7-year-old daughter on March 10.

At a news conference after the plea, Carlile’s attorney, David Allen, said, “I don’t believe Carlile committed a crime. This was an accident. This is not a case of manslaughter and we don’t think the prosecutor can prove his case. We want to put this behind us so Derek Carlile can get back to his career as a law enforcement officer.”

Carlile and his wife were outside the family’s vehicle when one of their other children, a 3-year-old boy, grabbed Carlile’s gun and shot his sister. The girl was shot in the torso and died from her injuries.

Two girls, 5 and 1 years old, were also in the vehicle at the time.

Investigators said that Carlile did not properly secure his gun in the vehicle and left it in an open bin that was visible from the backseat of the vehicle, where the boy was sitting. The gun involved in the shooting was not Carlile’s service weapon but his personal weapon.

When questioned, Carlile and his wife admitted that their young son was fascinated with guns and often tried to open their home safe where Carlile locked up his weapons. They also said he had toy guns and knew how to pull the triggers on them.

“We are very disappointed in the announcement today by the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office that it would charge Derek Carlile with the crime of manslaughter in the second degree as a result of the tragic death of his daughter [name redacted],” said his attorney David Allen and Cooper Offenbecher in a statement. “This is a double tragedy for the Carlile family that not only lost Jenna, but now also faces the possibility of losing Derek to prison if the prosecution is successful.”

The boy later told police that he had shot his sister and the 5-year-old girl also said she saw him shoot her sister.

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