A Philadelphia woman was sentenced Friday to at least 21 months in prison for her role in the death of her 11-year-old daughter, who was shot by her 2-year-old son with a revolver she kept in her Mantua home.
Tiffany Goldwire, 32, who pleaded guilty Dec. 18 to involuntary manslaughter, could spend up to five years in prison.
Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn B. Bronson showed leniency for Goldwire, who faced from five to 10 years in prison.
"The judge was aware that justice in this case needed to be exacted," said Goldwire's lawyer, Eugene Tinari, "but at the same time it needed to be tempered with some mercy, given the circumstances."
On the morning of April 5, the boy got hold of a .357-caliber revolver and shot Jamara Stevens once in the chest. She was declared dead about 30 minutes later at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
According to the police account of the case, Goldwire had told her older son, a 14-year-old, to put the revolver in a safe place within the family home on Wallace Street near 38th Street. But the 2-year-old, prosecutors said, found the weapon under a bed in his mother's room while his siblings were playing nearby.
The handgun, Tinari said, was cocked and it required little force to pull the trigger. Police said there were powder burns on the boy's hands.
"The court listened intently to the arguments and was completely in tune with the fact that no matter what sentence the judge imposed, it will never in any way come close to the punishment she has exacted upon herself, which is basically a life sentence due to the loss of her child," Tinari said.
Her four surviving children have been living with an aunt and will continue to do so.
Goldwire has been incarcerated for 10 months, and that time will be credited toward her sentence.