Shotgun under pillow kills toddler girl; 51-year-old man charged with her death

A 51-year-old south Pittsburgh man has been charged with criminal homicide, child endangerment and weapons offenses in the death of a toddler killed by a shotgun blast, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Marlin Pritchard said he was asleep next to 3-year-old Chassity Clancy and another girl early Sunday when he was awakened by the bang from the pistol-grip shotgun he kept beneath his pillow, according to police.

He told detectives he saw one of the girls jump up and run away, but the 3-year-old was still and he saw blood. He told police he held her, saying “wake up” over and over, the paper said.

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Officers responded to a call at 1:20 a.m., according to court documents, and little Chassity was pronounced dead at 1:34 with a wound in her neck.

“What do you want from me, man?” Pritchard later told detectives, according to the complaint. “This is my fault.”

Pritchard said he had left for work on Saturday at about 2:30 p.m., drinking a 24-ounce beer on the way, according to the affidavit. He returned home at about 8 or 9, he said, but had no more to drink. He told detectives he laid down on his bed with the two children watched movies.

He said he’d been threatened earlier on Saturday by a couple who were unhappy with his contracting work and was in an ongoing dispute with another man. These were the reasons he put the gun under his pillow, KDKA reported.

Police said Pritchard is a convicted felon, however, and isn’t allowed to have a gun.

He lived at the home with two other adults and three children, authorities said. The relationships between the adults and children was not immediately clear.

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[Featured image: Pixabay]