Los Angeles mom charged after son brings gun to high school

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 15, 2014 3:59 PM

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles woman who prosecutors say allowed her 17-year-old son to bring a loaded firearm and extra ammunition to his high school has been charged with multiple criminal counts, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The prosecution is the first of its kind in Los Angeles against a defendant for failing to properly secure a gun at home, City Attorney Mike Feuer said. The teenage boy was charged in a separate case filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

"Guns have no place in or around our schools," Feuer said. "Our office will continue to take aggressive action to protect our kids. And I call on parents to prevent potentially devastating consequences by safely storing every firearm they own."

Prosecutors say Leah Devahn Wilcken's son, who was not identified by authorities because of his age, brought a fully loaded .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun to Will Rogers High School in the Los Angles neighborhood of Van Nuys in May.

The boy also carried an additional fully loaded, seven-round magazine to the school, which was confiscated by school police after a witness reported seeing it in his backpack, according to prosecutors.

During a search of Wilcken's home the next day, police recovered a shotgun and four additional handguns, one of them in a cabinet near the kitchen sink and none of which were secured, prosecutors say.

Wilcken, 41, was charged with one count each of allowing a child to carry a firearm off premises, allowing a child to take a firearm to school, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and permitting a child to be placed in a situation where their health is in danger.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, and Feuer said he would also seek to impose conditions that would prohibit Wilcken from owning weapons in the future.

It was not immediately clear if Wilcken, who was expected to make an initial court appearance as early as Wednesday afternoon, had retained an attorney.  

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Eric Beech)