ORANGE COUNTY, Va. -- An Orange County couple returned to court in connection to the death of a child killed inside their home on May 15, 2017. The child, Cole James Clark, was one of several children at a babysitter's home on Cecelia Lane in Orange when he somehow obtained a gun and shot himself.
Deputies, investigators and rescue personnel arrived on scene and attempted life-saving measures without success and the child was pronounced dead at the scene.
Heather Massey, 27, and Nicholas J. Stoia, 25, were charged with multiple counts of child abuse/neglect and reckless handling/leave loaded firearm endangering child under the age of 14. Stoia, who was not home at the time, was a Stafford County Sheriff’s Office recruit, according to officials. The gun involved in the incident was not a service weapon, investigators added.
Massey pleaded guilty to felony cruelty and injury to a child, and Stoia pleaded guilty to the amended charge of misdemeanor reckless handling of a firearm. All other charges nolle prossed, according to Orange County Circuit court documents.
Both Massey and Stoia will be sentenced on April 19.