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Lansing car crash leads to assault, weapons, child abuse charges

A confrontation last week in the parking lot of a vacant gas station in Lansing, Michigan, led to the shooting of a toddler inside an SUV driven by his mother. But it's the mother of the boy who is now charged with child abuse and related crimes for allegedly deliberately ramming the shooting suspect's car with her SUV before the shooting.

The county prosecutor says the woman was stalking the man whose car she hit and who then allegedly shot at her car. Her three young children were in the SUV with her at the time of the incident, but it appears the alleged shooter may not have known there were kids in the car. The woman was charged with felonious assault for allegedly hitting the man's car and child abuse because the kids were with her at the time.

The man who was the alleged target of the assault apparently fired a shot through the SUV's windshield after his car was hit, but the bullet wounded one of the children and not the driver. The man was charged with a weapons crime as a result of the shooting. The prosecutor said that although the use of force in self-defense is permitted in Michigan, he did not think the threat amounted to enough danger for a shooting to take place.

In the aftermath of the alleged incident, the man could face two years in prison and the woman could face five years. However, many of the facts of the case have not been fully disclosed. Each of the people charged would likely benefit from speaking with criminal defense attorneys who can help determine the best options for their respective defenses.

Source: Lansing State Journal, "Lansing woman faces stalking charges," Kevin Grasha, Feb. 14, 2012

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