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Mother of boy who brought gun to school sentenced

Posted by on Sep. 1, 2014 at 8:54 AM
  • 6 Replies

Mother of boy who brought gun to school sentenced

Jamie Lee Chaffin listens to Kitsap County District Court Judge Jeffrey J. Jahns during her arraignment on March 15, 2012, in Port Orchard, Wash.


PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — The mother of a Washington state boy who brought a gun to school that went off in his backpack and critically wounded a classmate will spend more than a year behind bars.

Jamie Lee Chaffin was sentenced to 14 months Friday in Kitsap County Superior Court. She initially faced third-degree assault charges but was eventually prosecuted for unlawful possession of a firearm. She was convicted of forgery in 2007 and barred from owning or accessing weapons.

In February 2012, the gun that Chaffin's 9-year-old son brought to the city of Bremerton elementary school fired inside his backpack, injuring 8-year-old Amina Kocer Bowman. She had multiple surgeries and spent more than a month in the hospital.

The boy told investigators he took the gun from a dresser at the home of his mother's boyfriend, Douglas Bauer, because he was afraid of other students. Chaffin did not have custody of her son, who lived with his uncle.

The boy and his siblings testified that there were other firearms in Bauer's home that were not locked away.

Chaffin agreed in 2012 to testify against Bauer in exchange for the assault charge being dropped. She also agreed to plead guilty to unlawful possession of a gun, but her sentencing was postponed while Bauer's case wound through the courts. Her punishment moved forward after the state Supreme Court ruled in July that the third-degree assault case against Bauer could not proceed.

Bauer watched Chaffin's sentencing Friday. Her attorney, Michael Clark, sought less than the 14 months recommended by prosecutors, saying she could not care for herself and was dependent on Bauer, leaving her with few options despite knowing guns were in the house. But Judge Leila Mills imposed the full year and two months.

"I'm not finding there's anything to justify or excuse this behavior," Mills said. "You were under orders not to have a firearm. It was a direct violation."

Chaffin declined to make a statement in court, saying, "I'm not very good at speaking out loud with this many people around."

Neither her attorney nor Bauer offered additional comment outside the courtroom.

Earlier this month, the Bremerton School District agreed to pay $900,000 to the family of the injured girl. Bauer's homeowner's insurance said it would pay an additional $300,000 in the legal settlement.


by on Sep. 1, 2014 at 8:54 AM
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Replies (1-6):
by Gold Member on Sep. 1, 2014 at 8:59 AM

good enough place for her stupid ass.  responsible gun owners lock thier weapons away not leave them where kids can get to them:/ 

by Emerald Member on Sep. 1, 2014 at 11:13 AM

you rockThanks for the feature Cafemom -

by on Sep. 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

She's shouldn't be getting 14 months she should be getting 14 years. Gun irresponsibility is a cancer in this country. 

by on Sep. 1, 2014 at 11:29 AM

He said he took the gun from his mother's boyfriend's drawer in a dresser . Not good. What is the deal about the mother needing to be cared for by her boyfriend and the boy lived with his Uncle? It is pretty confusing.

The kid said he took it to school because he was afraid of some kids at school. ( This is probably why adults take their guns to stores, parks, everywhere....skeeered. But they are supposedly grown up, so , why?)

Kids are unrealitsic about other kids' behavior and exaggerate threats. His Mom should have listened and reassured him before he got the idea to take the gun to school. But maybe she is as scared and as immature as a grade school kid and wouldn't have even thought about reassuring him.

This whole thing is so messed up. The little kid is a victim, bedsides the girl at school who was accidentally shot. Kids need to be raised by well adjusted, mentally healthy parents. I feel so bad about how this little kid was raised and sad that it happened.

by on Sep. 1, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Why did the school have to pay anything? They didn't bring the gun. 

Does anyone understand that the money a school pays out comes out of the TAXPAYERS pockets?

by Socialist Hippie on Sep. 1, 2014 at 11:46 AM

What a CF

Wonder what the gun owner will get?

I guess she'll forever lose custody and perhaps even visitation with her kids?

The kid needs some counseling too...something is just not right.

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