Couple Told Baby to Put Gun in Mouth, Say 'Pow': Cops

Police find video of girl, 1, playing with gun
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2015 8:41 AM CST

It may be a bit early in 2015 to be handing out the Parents of the Year Award, but a man and woman in Indiana are certainly contenders: Police say they found a cellphone video featuring Michael Barnes, 19, and Toni Wilson, 22, encouraging a 1-year-old baby girl to place a .40-caliber handgun in her mouth and say "pow." "The video also shows the child placing the muzzle of the gun in [her] mouth," police say in a statement (amended here). "At no point does Barnes try to stop the child from playing with the gun." Wilson is the girl's mother, but Barnes is not her father.

Authorities obtained the video after arresting Barnes in a separate incident in which he made arrangements via social media to sell a handgun to an undercover cop, Reuters reports. Wilson claimed the gun in the video was just a pellet gun, but police say that's not true. Barnes has been charged with child neglect, allowing a child to possess a firearm, and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, and Wilson faces the same charges, NBC News reports. The baby, as well as month-old twins in the home—of whom Barnes is the father, police say—were put into emergency care. (As for 2010's Parent of the Year winner, it might be the guy who tried to trade his baby for beer.)

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