Mother, boyfriend plea innocent

The mother of a slain 4-year-old boy and her boyfriend pleaded not guilty Thursday to child abuse charges in connection with the boy's death in April.

Amanda Pecor, 29, and Matthew Edwards, 30, both of 907 N. Saunders Ave., each pleaded not guilty to negligent child abuse resulting in death on Thursday in Adams County District Court.

Pre-trial hearings in each case have been scheduled for July 8 at 1 p.m.

Police say Pecor's 9-year-old son shot his 4-year-old brother with a rifle on April 18.
In addition, prosecutors say police, school and mental health officials had concerns about the 9-year-old's frequent violent behavior and that officials had warned both his mother and her boyfriend in the weeks before the shooting not to have guns in the house and to lock up all knives and other sharp objects.

An arrest affidavit says the mother didn't see the urgency in securing those items and made excuses for not locking them up, such as needing knives for cooking. Police found six firearms and ammunition — none of which had been locked up and were easily accessible — in the home after the shooting.

Officials also reported that the mother failed to keep several appointments with mental health workers regarding her son in the weeks before the shooting.

Pecor and Edwards each face a count of negligent child abuse resulting in death, a Class 3 felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

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