By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — A Dearborn couple arraigned Nov. 2 on child abuse and felony firearm charges following a toddler shooting at their home daycare Sept. 27.
Timothy Eubanks and Samantha Eubanks, both 32, appeared in 19th District Court in front of Judge Gene Hunt who read the counts.
Both face six counts of second-degree child abuse for the several loaded firearms within reach of their six children ages 3 to 15.
Additionally, Samantha Eubanks was charged with six counts of second-degree child abuse for leaving the loaded weapons within reach of the children she was looking after inside the house.
Each second-degree child abuse count has a maximum of 10 years in prison, so she could face 120 years and Timothy Eubanks 60 years.
Samantha Eubanks also was charged with two counts of felony firearm, each which come with a mandatory two-year sentence in prison.
Bond for each was set at $20,000, 10 percent. Along with bond the couple has to surrender their passports, cannot travel outside the state, must have no contact with the victims and their families, cannot posses any weapons and are only allowed supervised visits with their six children.
“This is a tremendous tragedy, not intentional, but still a tragedy,” Hunt said. “Bond is set as a result of the reckless disregard for the children inside the house.”
Neither Eubanks had a previous criminal record.
Probable cause conferences were set for 9 a.m. Nov. 8, and preliminary examinations of the evidence against them are scheduled for 1 p.m. Nov. 17, all at 19th District Court.
The Eubanks own the house in the 3600 block of Harding where their 3-year-old son shot two other 3-year-old boys on Sept. 27.
The two toddlers are at home physically recovering, but will need long term care, Police Chief Ronald Haddad said during a press conference on Nov. 2.
“This shooting remains a complete tragedy for the entire community,” he said. “Our officers visit with the families of the two injured toddlers.
“I am still troubled by the incident because as gun owners we have an obligation to keep everyone around us safe. The guns should not be in reach of a toddler, and it also concerns me that a toddler knew how to fire the gun.”
Police and fire responded to the house at 10:30 a.m. on the report of a shooting where one toddler allegedly shot two other toddlers in the face and shoulder.
A primary investigation revealed the possibility both boys were injured from a single shot when the gun discharged.
Samantha Eubanks was watching six children ages four months to 3 years inside the house, including her own.
The unsecured handguns were in the upstairs bedroom where the Eubanks’ son gained access, police said. Other weapons in addition to the gun were recovered by officers.
According to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the house is not licensed as a home daycare.
The Eubanks’ children are now staying with relatives.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)